October 21, 2020

No charges against U.S. Marshals who killed suspect in Mississippi shooting, car theft

Members of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man after he pointed a rifle at them will not be charged in his killing, the top prosecutor in Memphis, Tennessee, said Friday.

Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich said marshals acted within the law when they fired at Brandon Webber during an attempted arrest in the Frayser neighborhood of Memphis on June 12, 2019.

Authorities said Webber was wanted on felony warrants related to a shooting and car theft in Mississippi. Marshals found him in the car in the driveway of a home and attempted to pin his vehicle with theirs, Weirich said.

Webber rammed task force members’ vehicles with his car, then got out and pointed a tactical rifle at marshals before two of them shot at Webber, Weirich said. Three other marshals provided cover fire as well, she said.

“Under the law in Tennessee, officers are not required to wait until they are fired upon,” Weirich said in a statement. “They may use deadly force when they have probable cause to believe that the individual to be arrested poses a threat of serious bodily injury, either to the officer or to others.”

Marshals involved in the shooting have not been identified. Their races were not released.

Protesters threw rocks and bricks at Memphis police after Webber’s shooting, injuring some officers.