HERNANDO, Miss. — Mississippi is sending out a warning to law enforcement officers about a potential threat.
The state's Department of Public Safety claims that Brandon Webber’s father made threats against law enforcement on Wednesday night, saying they “received credible intelligence that a threat had been issued on law enforcement.”
Brandon Webber was shot and killed by U.S. Marshals in Memphis on Wednesday night, after DeSoto County authorities say he shot a man five times in Hernando.
Webber's father, in an interview with WREG on Friday, denied knowing about any threats to law enforcement.
"I don’t know nothing about that, call for retaliation," Sonny Andrew Webber said.
We were in contact with numerous Mississippi law enforcement agencies Friday and while they are aware of a potential threat, they deal with this kind of thing rather often. The key for officers is to rely on their training, and stay aware while on the clock.
“It sort of reminds the officers that they have to be on their toes, they have to stay aware of their surroundings, stay vigilant. And ultimately that’s what we ask the community to do on a day-to-day-basis,” said Capt. Kyle Hodge with Hernando Police.
While there has been backlash on social media after Webber’s death, WREG could not find specific threats against law enforcement online.
Officials say the majority of their interaction with the community is positive, but it’s the negative — and sometimes scary — majority, that attracts the most attention.
"The 2% that doesn’t is often the most, they’re the loudest, they’re the most heard. And that’s what’s portrayed, and it’s ultimately not reality. But it’s a daily reminder that our job is risky," Hodge said.
There are two sides to every story — to the crime in Hernando that Webber is accused of committing, and to his death in Memphis. Law enforcement understands that regardless of the outcome, real people are involved, and their duty is to protect and serve everyone involved.
"It is a tragic event, and we look at it that way," Hodge said. "That’s our emphasis and that’s what we do with our officers and make sure that they understand, that it’s professional.”
Neither Tennessee or Mississippi officers were involved in the initial confrontation with Brandon Webber, but they will still be on alert this weekend.
— By Peter Fleischer