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A shooting in Memphis involving a police officer has gained national attention after the alleged suspect’s lifeless body was left in the street for several hours.

The Commercial Appeal Memphis reports Jonathan Bratcher, and a friend were in a Chevy Impala on Wednesday when two police officers– one White, one Black– pulled them over for an unknown traffic infraction. Police claim that the two sped off and police pursued them from a distance. After crashing into another car near the St. Andrew A.M.E. Church, the men took off on foot with the officers close behind.

Officials and witnesses gave contrasting accounts of what happened next. One of the men pulled out a gun and began firing at officers, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said to reporters on Wednesday.

The officers returned fire, reportedly striking Bratcher in the head. The other man, who hasn’t been identified, is still on the run. Witnesses claimed Jonathan was unarmed and his body was left behind the church for several hours before he was taken to the hospital.

An off-duty Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was near the scene, also took part in the chase but did not fire his weapon.

Bratcher, 32, died at the scene, writes the news outlet.

Arkansas Matters reports:

Investigators have not confirmed the identity of the person killed. But Mario Duncan said it was his 30-year-old brother-in-law Jonathan Bratcher. He questions what really happened. “You’re not in danger if this man done jumped out the car and ran,” said Duncan. “how is his life in danger if you done hit him with the car and threw him in handcuffs and shot him in the back of the head?”

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine told says Bratcher was not handcuffed at the time of the shooting.

DeVine told reporters an investigation is currently underway.

In October 2015, the city received 500 body cameras out of the 2,000 ordered for the Memphis Police Department. Jim Strickland, the city’s newly elected mayor, informed the public that the program was “suspended indefinitely” because the process was rushed. The program also included an introduction of dash cameras to squad cars.

While previous outlets reported Memphis city spokeswoman Ursula Madden made statements about officers ordered to turn off their body cameras in light of the investigation, officials claim the two officers who are currently testing the new body cameras were not present when the shooting happened.

Strickland released a statement about the shooting but didn’t share details behind the case. The Memphis police can release the names of the officers at their own discretion as the TBI investigates the shooting.

Via The Commercial Appeal Memphis:

In a statement, Mayor Jim Strickland said, “I have been made aware of an officer-involved shooting today. However, TBI is the lead agency investigating. I am not at liberty to discuss the details of this case. This is a reminder of the dangers our officers face on a daily basis, even on something as routine as a traffic stop.”

Bratcher’s family has insisted he wouldn’t carry a gun due to his lengthy history with the law. In the past, he has faced charges of assault, aggravated robbery, theft and drug possession. His family confirmed he was recently released from jail and was expecting another child.

Bratcher is survived by his five-year-old daughter.

SOURCE: The Commercial Appeal Memphis | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform 


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