Memphis Community Cools Under A Spotlight After Shooting By U.S. Marshals | Nashville Public Radio

Memphis Community Cools Under A Spotlight After Shooting By U.S. Marshals

Jun 14, 2019

The national media descended Thursday on the Frayser neighborhood in Memphis.

The attention comes after U.S. Marshals killed Brandon Webber, a 20-year-old black man who Marshals say rammed their vehicle with a stolen car and got out with a weapon.

The shooting caused a violent confrontation between the community and the Memphis police on Wednesday. Three people were arrested, one for inciting a riot. But local activists are asking residents to drop the violence.

According to Memphis Police Department, Wednesday’s uproar left 36 injured officers and more than a dozen cruisers damaged. In response, the department is now on high alert, requiring all officers to be on duty and work in pairs.

But Thursday night, the chaos did not reignite. Instead, more than 40 people spent most of the afternoon in the yard of the house were Webber was killed.

Many were protesting the police and how they treat blacks in the community.

Rhonda Logan is an organizer in Frayser and a candidate to represent the area in the Memphis City Council. She said the reaction of the community represents more than indignation over a single police shooting.

“What you see here is an outcry," Logan told WPLN. "It's an outcry for answers, for people to come into the community and for resources in the community. For solidarity.” 

Logan and other local leaders say Wednesday's incidenct is not representative of their community. They also say they want the Frayser neighborhood to move forward after this week’s uproar. 

Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said it's aggravating to see how black men and women are sometimes treated by law enforcement agents. 

"We see all the time where tolerance is given for those that have been accused of crimes, and they live to see the jail or they live to go to trial," Parkinson said. "In a lot of situations in communities of color, or with a young black man, that tolerance is not given."

Parkinson said the community needs transparency from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, which is leading the investigation even though the shooting was by a federal agent. 

Webber's death comes days after a Memphis policeman was exonerated for the deadly shooting of another black man last year.