When multiple police officers were shot in Dallas, Texas, during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, Mark Hughes was wrongly accused as a suspect. The Dallas Police Department sent out a tweet with Hughes picture saying he was a suspect. The picture spread across the nation quickly.
Hughes was attending the protest with his brother Cory Hughes who was one of the organizers. He was carrying an unloaded gun when the shots rang out. He immediately turned his gun over to police when the incident occurred, but it didn’t stop them from asking the public to help them find him. Now Hughes is lucky to be alive.
Mark, his brother, and his entire family have received thousands of death threats. The family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, told the New York Daily News Mark, Cory, and he were recently confronted while eating. “Cory went to the bathroom and noticed a group of white guys staring at him and they had pictures of his brother up on their phones,” Merritt told the Daily News. “He came back to me where we were eating and those same guys started taking positions around us by the exits. I got us up in a hurry and got out of there.”
It’s being reported that they have had to leave the state. Merritt has reportedly released the following statement:
“When the Dallas PD identified Mark Hughes as a suspect in the murder of five police officers in the Dallas snipper attacks they recklessly triggered a nationwide manhunt that put my client, his family and his livelihood in grave danger. As the nation was just coming to grips with the magnitude and severity of this brutal attack on law enforcement officers and peaceful protestors, they plastered Mr. Hughes face across news outlets and social media for no other reason than the fact that he was a Black man demonstrating his lawful right to openly carry a firearm in protest of the murder of two black men killed while exercising that same right. The moment the shooting broke out he went directly to the nearest peace officer and turned over his firearm. It wasnt until hours later that the DPD 1st shared his image with media outlets. Despite his full cooperation and obvious lack of involvement he was treated as a common criminal, interrogated, threatened, stripped of his property and shown out of the back door. No apology, no public statements of his lack of involvement and photographed remained on DPD’s Twitter account with the request that the general public help find him for over 18 hours after his release. His family has received death threats, he, his wife, his mom, his brother continue to receive threats daily.”
This man definitely deserves compensation and a public apology.
Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.