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UPDATE 1-Memphis man killed by marshals had history of arrests on minor charges

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 13-06-2019 21:16 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 20:54 IST
UPDATE 1-Memphis man killed by marshals had history of arrests on minor charges
Image Credit: ANI

The Tennessee man killed by U.S. marshals, sparking clashes with police overnight, had a history of arrests on minor drug-related and driving charges and posted a social media video just before his death showing him smoking what appeared to be marijuana. The victim, a Memphis resident identified by authorities as Brandon Webber, was 20 years old and the eldest of eight children. He had two young children of his own, a 2-year-old boy and a newborn daughter.

In May, Webber posted a picture of his infant daughter on Facebook and wrote that she "stole my." His father, Sonny Webber, told Reuters on Thursday that his son was expecting to attend the University of Memphis in August.

Agents of the U.S. Marshals Service shot and killed the younger Webber while trying to arrest him on multiple warrants at about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the state Bureau of Investigation said, without specifying the nature of the warrants. Webber's father said his son was shot between 16 and 20 times, but the number of shots could not be immediately confirmed.

Shortly before he was shot on Wednesday, Webber posted a live video on Facebook that showed him in a car, rapping and apparently smoking a marijuana cigarette. In the video, he looked out the window and said he saw police. With a laugh, he looked directly into the camera and said the officers would "have to kill me." The video appeared to have been removed from his Facebook page late Thursday morning.

In the hours after his death, friends flooded Webber's Facebook profile with messages of love, grief, disbelief and outrage at the authorities responsible for his death. "I don't see a man that deserves 20 shots. I see a father, a friend, a big bro, a rapper from the heart ... a songwriter, a college student, a homie, a brother," wrote Derrion Davenport, who posted a picture of Webber looking down at his newborn baby.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Webber rammed his vehicle into vehicles operated by the U.S. Marshals Service before getting out with an unspecified weapon. The service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, is charged with apprehending fugitives. Public records show that Webber was arrested five times, for driving violations and on charges that included possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana. The outcome of those arrests was not clear from the records.

According to his Facebook profile, Webber had graduated from Memphis Central High School.


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