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Thursday, 13 June 2019

Girlfriend of Memphis honors student, 20, 'killed by cops in hail of bullets' goes in to LABOR as riots break out overnight with furious protesters pelting cops with bricks and bottles (11 pics)

Brandon Webber

The pregnant girlfriend of a 20-year-old black man who was shot dead by U.S. Marshals during an attempted arrest outside his family's home went into labor as riots broke out in the streets of the working-class Memphis neighborhood where he was killed.
Brandon Webber was shot and killed by officers on Wednesday night as they tried to arrest him for outstanding felony warrants outside his home in Frayser in North Memphis.
Webber, who has a two-year-old son and a newborn daughter, was shot between 16 and 20 times, according to his father Sonny Webber. Authorities have not confirmed what his felony warrants were or how many gunshots were fired.
His girlfriend Alorea Hardwick, who is the mother of his toddler son, was in labor when Webber was killed. They had been expecting a baby girl but it is not yet clear if she has given birth.
She filmed an emotional Facebook Live video of her crying in her hospital bed after hearing the news of Webber's death.
Webber and Hardwick had hosted a baby shower on June 1 at the home where he was killed.
Webber, who had a history of arrests on minor drug-related and driving charges, was described as an honors student who graduated from Memphis Central High School in 2017 and was enrolled at the University of Memphis.
Public records show that Webber was arrested five times, for driving violations and on charges that included possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
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. 
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said officers went to his home at about 7pm to look for Webber who had outstanding felony warrants.
Officers said they saw Webber get into a vehicle and that he then proceed to ram task force vehicles several times before exiting with a weapon. Marshals then opened fire on Webber. He died at the scene, according to officers.
His girlfriend Alorea Hardwick, who is the mother of his toddler son, was in labor when Webber was killed. They had been expecting a baby girl but it is not yet clear if she has given birth. She filmed an emotional Facebook Live video of her crying in her hospital bed after hearing the news of Webber's death


In the hours after his death, friends flooded Webber's Facebook page with messages of love, grief, disbelief and outrage at the authorities responsible for his death.
'He was loving and a very sweet kind person,' Diamond Butler, who has known Webber since middle school, told DailyMail.com
'I just want everybody to know he was a caring person. He took care of his kids. 
Shocking photos show armed police facing off with an angry crowd as the streets descended into chaos following the fatal shooting with hundreds of riot-gear clad officers called into to quell the unrest. 
At least two dozen police officers and two journalists were injured during the confrontation. Six officers were taken to hospital suffering mostly minor injuries.
It was not clear how many civilians were hurt but three people were arrested.
Officers cordoned off several blocks near the scene as people threw rocks and bricks at law enforcement during the tense clash.  
By 11pm, officers had used tear gas and most of the crowd dispersed. 
Officers on horseback patrolled the area and lines of police cars with flashing blue lights were parked along the street. An ambulance could be seen at the outer edge of the scene. A helicopter flew overhead as police cars trickled away. 
Residential streets remained blocked and a heavy police presence remained in the area on Thursday morning.   
In identifying Webber on Twitter early Thursday, Shelby County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer said 'Every life lost should matter...every single one. How many times will this be ok? It cannot continue to be.'
Memphis police officers were called in to help with crowd control as word of the shooting spread on social media.


As more protesters showed up, more Memphis officers and Shelby County sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene. 
The situation then escalated, and officers donned protective riot gear as people threw rocks and bricks. Police cars and a nearby fire station were damaged.
Police director Michael Rallings implored residents to wait until the TBI finishes its investigation before spreading possible misinformation about the shooting. 
'I need everyone to stay calm,' Rallings said. 
While police support the right of people to demonstrate, Rallings said 'we will not allow any acts of violence.' 
Passion Anderson, a 34-year old student, brought her 13-year-old son to the scene early Thursday.
She grew up in Memphis and recently moved back to the Frayser neighborhood, a mostly low- to middle-income area with modest single-family homes and apartments.
She said she worried about her son's safety every day in Memphis which struggles with crime and gang activity.
'I just want him to see this, know what's going on, to be conscious,' she said. 'I fear for him all the time.'





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