DPS warns of threat against law enforcement after US marshals shoot, kill Memphis man

A large crowd gathered outside the scene of the shooting before protests broke out.
A large crowd gathered outside the scene of the shooting before protests broke out.(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2019 at 5:32 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is warning law enforcement to be on high alert after an officer-involved shooting in Memphis Wednesday night.

DPS released a bulletin Thursday regarding a threat against all law enforcement following the death of 20-year-old Brandon Webber.

Webber, who was wanted in connection with a shooting in DeSoto County, was shot and killed by the U.S. Marshal Service - Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, prompting a violent protest that left three dozen law enforcement officers injured and more than a dozen of their vehicles damaged.

“We received credible intelligence that a threat had been issued on law enforcement pursuant to the events that occurred in the city of Memphis on Wednesday evening,” said Marshall Fisher, Mississippi Commissioner of Public Safety. “I felt it was necessary to get that information out to law enforcement.”

The Mississippi DPS disseminates information to officers and agencies through bulletins released by the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center. Those bulletins are intended to help local, state, tribal and federal government agencies respond to threats against the law enforcement community.

“The safety of our law enforcement officers in this state is of utmost priority,” said MHP Col. Chris Gillard. “The thin blue line protects our citizens everyday and their safety must not be compromised.”

DPS didn’t specify the threat but urged all law enforcement to use extra caution and be on high alert when they are in public.

“We currently have an environment nationwide where it seems that law enforcement officers are increasingly under threats of violence," said Fisher. "It’s incumbent upon us to get information out as soon as possible.”

On Thursday night, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said the department is at Level 3, meaning officers will work without days off until further notice, patrols are increased in the Frayser area and officers will ride two to a squad car as a precaution.

“When you start threatening police officers, when you are committing acts of violence, property damage and actually hurting the neighborhood that you live in or visit, I just see that as very counterproductive,” said Rallings.

He says his officers are dedicated to serving this city.

“I think that we should, as a community, try to determine what type of community do we want. I don’t see any community that supports lawlessness or attacks on law enforcement,” said Rallings.

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