Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on reactions to Frayser shooting


THE DEADLY OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING THAT SPARKED MASSIVE UNREST IN FRAYSER IS ALREADY BEING USED TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS.. POLITICAL ANALYST OTIS SANFORD … SAYS BOTH SENATOR MARSHA BLACKBURN AND SHELBY COUNTY COMMISSIONER TAMI SAWYER … SEE IT AS A CHANCE FOR PERSONAL GAIN. HERE’S HIS POINT OF VIEW. OTIS SANFORD/REPORTIN G: The shooting death of 20 year old Brandon Webber in Frayser by U.S. marshals was an unfortunate tragedy. And the chaos that followed – with people hurling bricks and other objects at police, damaging public property and roughing up journalists – was unacceptable. I will concede that some of the unrest is tied to pent-up frustration over a variety of issues – including at times heavy handed police tactics. Community and religious leaders in Frayser for the most part reacted to the incident responsibly. And said the right things. But the same cannot be said for others – including political leaders whose comments were counterproductive and plainly wrong. Take for instance, Senator Marsha Blackburn, who has never shown any real interest in Memphis. Her office released two separate statements saying she was closing following the situation Wednesday night. But then referred to it as the Memphis riots that resulted in the fatal shooting of a police officer. Finally, a third statement corrected the mistake, but still made no mention of Webber’s death. Then there was county commissioner Tami Sawyer, who is running for Memphis mayor. She tweeted that Webber was murdered by U.S. marshals, supported by the MPD. The Memphis branch of the NAACP also described Webber’s death as a murder. Such language is not just inappropriate, it’s harmful and inflammatory. Yes, the community deserves a transparent investigation and answers. But we don’t need political leaders acting – like opportunists. And




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