Sonny Webber faces a scheduled court appearance Thursday (July 30) on multiple felony charges stemming from the violent reaction that resulted after his son was fatally shot by U.S. Marshals last year.
He was charged with 53 counts of aggravated assault towards the officers after the protests. In his view, the multiple charges are authorities’ way of blaming him for how others reacted after his son was killed.
“I can’t even grieve right because this is what my time and energy has to go into, dealing with these court cases,” he said.
His son, Brandon Webber, 20, was shot and killed June 12, 2019, at his mother’s driveway at 2075 Durham in Frayser.
Authorities alleged that, a few days prior to Webber being shot and killed, he shot a man five times in Hernando, Miss. during a potential car sale. Officers said Webber stole the car and made his way back to Memphis.
Marshals reported that they shot Webber as they approached him to serve a warrant. They say he posed a threat by ramming their vehicles and pointing a gun towards them.
The shooting enraged Frayser residents, who believed the officers used excessive force. Twenty-four police officers were injured and their vehicles were damaged by rocks.
The incident brought national attention to Memphis.
On June 10, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich announced that no charges would be placed against the officers who killed Brandon.
“People still calling it a protest,” said Webber. “No. That was not a protest. That was a reaction to what happened to my son that night.
“To form a protest, something had to happen before then. No! this was the same day and was not a protest.”
Webber is outraged that the charges have not been dropped.
“I didn’t wake up on that day thinking and believing in a couple of hours they are going to kill my son, so let me get ready to start a protest and a riot. That’s crazy,” said Webber.
Webber compared the Frayser unrest to nationwide protests over the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
“Who are you going to arrest for all those protests and riots? You can’t blame one person or the family members of these victims,” he said.
As for his son, Sonny Webber wonders how authorities can justify shooting his son 16 times.
“Shooting someone that many times, you can’t justify it,” he said.
Brandon’s, mother Jaleta Clark, does not believe official reports about the shooting.
“There were bullet wounds through my son’s upper torso and legs, there were bullet wounds through his hands where he placed them up towards his face to protect him, the entire back half of his head was blown off,” she said.
Clark believes the autopsy report proves her son did not point a gun at the marshals because all the bullet wounds were in a downward position.
Brandon’s parents are upset about how the situation was handled.
“They plotted and waited for my son. Why didn’t Memphis Police Department put him on the TV saying there is a warrant out for him,” Clark said.
“They watched and followed my son all day long instead of coming to us and saying there was a warrant for him.”