Two journalists were injured and six police officers were hospitalized in the clashes late Wednesday, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
“Let me be clear – the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted,” Strickland said in a statement.
The crowd launched bricks and rocks at Memphis police and multiple police vehicles were damaged; the windows of a local fire station were also smashed.
The violent clashes occurred in response to the reported death by shooting of a felony suspect, who was killed in a botched raid by US Marshals in North Memphis.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, agents attempted to arrest the suspect –who reportedly had multiple felony warrants–– but the man entered a car and began ramming police vehicles indiscriminately before exiting with a weapon.
Police opened fire and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. It is, as yet, unknown how many shots were fired; or how many times the suspect was hit. Memphis police were not directly involved in the shooting.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said it is “closely monitoring” the situation.