Police, protesters clash in Memphis after fatal shooting

Police, protesters clash in Memphis after fatal shooting

Police in Memphis, Tenn., were confronted by a large crowd of demonstrators late Wednesday after a young black man was reportedly killed by officers in his family's front yard.

The Associated Press reported that three people were arrested following a night of demonstrations in which as many as 25 officers were injured, some of whom were reportedly struck by rocks thrown by the crowd.

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A spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) told reporters that the shooting victim, identified in news reports as 21-year-old Brandon Webber, was killed by officers after allegedly striking a police fugitive task force vehicle with his car and exiting his vehicle with a weapon.

"While attempting to stop the individual," a TBI statement obtained by the Daily Memphian reads, "he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon. The officers fired striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured."

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings urged calm after the demonstrations at a news conference Thursday morning, according to the AP, pledging to allow Memphis residents to demonstrate peacefully but vowing to prosecute acts of violence.

“I need everyone to stay calm,” Rallings said, according to the AP, adding: “We will not allow any acts of violence.”

Memphis's mayor, Jim Strickland, praised the police response after the shooting and demonstrations, according to the Daily Memphian.

"I was proud of our first responders," Strickland reportedly said in his own statement. "I’m impressed by their professionalism and incredible restraint as they endured concrete rocks being thrown at them and people spitting at them."

"Let me be clear," he reportedly added, "the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies was unwarranted."

Officer-involved shootings of African Americans has become a major issue for police departments around the country as law enforcement faces new scrutiny over issues including the use of force against suspects and possible racial bias.

The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., sparked nationwide protests and led to the Black Lives Matter movement gaining in national popularity.