At least 24 Memphis Police Department officers were injured during a large protest Wednesday night, Mayor Jim Strickland says. The violence erupted in response to a deadly shooting by officers of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The shooting occurred around 7 p.m. local time, as officers from the U.S. Marshals Service – Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force tried to take a man into custody. When the officers approached the man, he was getting into his car in Memphis' Frayser community.
When the officers tried to stop the man, "he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers' vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon," according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the case.
"The officers fired striking and killing the individual," the TBI says. It did not release the man's name.
"No officers were injured" in that initial encounter, the agency says.
But that shooting touched off outrage in Frayser, a predominantly black area in northern Memphis. The U.S. Marshals asked Memphis police for help, and officers who responded initially came to help with traffic.
As residents gathered in the street near where the shooting occurred, police formed a human wall across the asphalt. Within hours, those officers were coming under assault, and deploying riot shields.
The situation soon escalated as people in the crowd began throwing rocks and bricks at officers, according to Memphis police.
Six wounded officers were taken to the hospital, Strickland said, adding that at least two journalists were also hurt, and "multiple" police cars were vandalized.
" A concrete wall outside a business was torn down. The windows were broken out at fire station 31," Strickland said.
Let me be clear—the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted."
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