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TBI roundtable in Memphis sheds light on officer-involved shooting investigations, manpower challenges

Tuesday in Memphis, leaders with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not hold back, saying they need more agents.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Tuesdayin Memphis, leaders with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not holdback, saying they need more agents.     

ATBI roundtable touched on officer-involved shooting investigations, includinglast month’s killing of a wanted man, Brandon Webber, by U.S. Marshals.

TBIleaders shed new light on how their team responded that dramatic night inFrayser last month.

Theyalso admitted that investigating every non-deadly officer involved shooting inShelby County isn’t possible with their limited manpower.

Withchaos June 12th on Overton Crossing, TBI agents used caution.

“I’mnot going to endanger their lives,” TBI Special Agent In Charge JohnnySimmons said.

So,Simmons kept his team back until this crowd calmed down.

“Mydecision as a manager is the agents’ safety is paramount,” Simmons said.

ButSimmons admitted Tuesday that gap of time could be critical in the TBI’sinvestigation of Webber’s shooting death by U.S. Marshals.

“It’shard to say if there were witnesses at the time who may have filteredaway,” Simmons said.

InShelby County, an agreement dictates District Attorney Amy Weirich call in theTBI to independently investigate anytime a U.S. Marshal, Memphis Police officer,or Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy kills someone in the line of duty.

TBIleaders said each case is timely and taxing.

“It’sdifficult, it affects them, it affects their family life,” Simmons said.

LastSeptember, after Memphis Police officers shot and injured Martavious Banks insouth Memphis, some suggested the TBI investigate every officer-involvedshooting in Shelby County, whether the person died or not.

Tothe TBI, that idea is a no go.

“There’sno way we could handle that with the manpower that we have, there’s no way thatthe four agents we have could handle that,” Simmons said.

Asthe TBI continues its investigations into Webber and other cases, Simmonsoffered this message.

“Thefacts are going to play out however they play out, we are not going to guidethe facts, we are not going to curb the facts,” Simmons said.

Inthe last four years, the TBI investigated 22 officer-involved shootings inShelby County. That’s close to the 30 cases total in all of the 20 other westTennessee counties combined.