Saying that Mark Hughes is upset over being misidentified as the person responsible for the carnage that took place at a Dallas Black Lives Matter march is an understatement, and he is less than happy about the way he and his brother Cory were “persecuted” by police. To add insult to injury, he is confused by the unwillingness of the Dallas Police Department to apologize and delete the damning tweet targeting him as a murderer.
Mark Hughes was exercising his second amendment rights when he took his AR-15 with him to a peaceful protest that ended with the murder of five police officers and injuring 14 others in Dallas, Texas. The decision to bring his firearm put him on the radar, and his name and picture were circulated all over social media and major television networks. If it weren’t for video footage of Mark Hughes turning over his weapon to a police officer at his brother’s insistence and the public testimony from friends that accompanied him, Mark Hughes could very well be dead, and he knows it.
Facebook video of DPD’s original person of interest, handing over his weapon to authorities
Via facebook live videohttps://t.co/hDmeV6T4sz
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) July 8, 2016
According to News One, after Hughes was publicized as the shooter, he turned himself in. His brother Cory Hughes, who was one of the protesters participating in the peaceful protest over the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, spoke to CBS affiliate KTVT and emphatically denied that his brother involved.
“My brother was marching with us. Because he’s my brother and I understood the severity of the situation, I told my brother, ‘Give that gun away.’ He never thought that by exercising his right he’s be plastered over the national media as a suspect.”
Mark Hughes talked to reporters after he was questioned and released, and in the video, he was clearly running the gamut of emotions. He seemed dazed and confused, and his anger at the situation was beginning to grow because his requests for a public exoneration and apology were rebuffed.
— RollingOut (@RollingOut) July 8, 2016
Twitter scooped the broadcast media in covering this story, according to The Verge. While CNN was reporting that authorities were still building a case against Hughes, Twitter had already exonerated him, and users asked that the tweet naming him as a suspect be taken down.
— Dan Marries (@DanMarriesKOLD) July 8, 2016
Yet they had no trouble falsely accusing Mark Hughes and releasing pictures of him.
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 8, 2016
It is a miracle Mark Hughes was not killed last night https://t.co/sVSnD0M1mP
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 8, 2016
If it weren’t for Twitter users, Mark Hughes might very well have been among the ranks of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the two black men with guns murdered in a 24-hour period by police officers and the subjects of the rally in Dallas that turned deadly for officers tasked with protecting the march.
— (((Sana))) (@dallaspiosana) July 8, 2016
Even though he has been cleared and one a suspect has been identified, Mark Hughes says that his life is still in jeopardy. He has received death threats from around the world, and the tweet naming him as a suspect remains despite numerous requests to take it down. In light of the situation, Mark Hughes has lawyered up and is in a “safe location.” His lawyers told WFAA that they were not allowed to see their client for hours while he was being interrogated by the police.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) July 8, 2016
This is the latest mass shooting in what seems to be a weekly occurrence in the U.S., and this incident has been called the “deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11.” The suspect that died after police detonated a bomb robot has been identified as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, who according to Huffington Post, “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers” because of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings. Three other people were in custody but have since been let go.
Many feel that Johnson’s vigilante execution of five officers is his reaction to a perceived “white against black” mentality that he turned into a “black against blue” mindset that will make relations between minorities and law enforcement even worse, with innocent citizens such as Mark Hughes getting caught in the crossfire, as expressed by lawyer Michael Campbell, Jr.
“He is there to protest injustice and in turn received injustice himself.”
[Image via Elgin Charles/Twitter]