On Thursday evening, shortly after snipers opened fire on police officers and protesters at a Dallas Black Lives Matter protest, Dallas Police circulated a photograph of Mark Hughes, identifying him as a suspect.
Hughes was quickly identified in videos showing him on the streets as the shooting began, however. But after being labeled a person of interest, Hughes presented himself to police and handed over the rifle he was carrying, which was reportedly not loaded. “Immediately, I flagged down a police officer,” Hughes said Friday morning. “I was talking to police, laughing and joking with police officers.”
But Hughes, the brother of protest organizer Corey Hughes, was nevertheless detained, interrogated, and wrongly accused. “I just got out of an interrogation room for about 30 minutes, where police officers were lying, saying they had video of me shooting a gun, which is a lie, saying that they had witnesses saying I had shot a gun, which is a lie,” he said. “At the end of the day, the system was trying to get me.”
His brother recognized the unfortunate symbolism of Hughes’s wrongful detention, saying “I’m trying to be strong right now for my family that I know is watching. But I’m crying on the inside, because we simply came to be a voice for those that don’t have a voice. And we went from being a voice to being a suspects and being villains. And my question is, why?” Hughes said police have not apologized for detaining him or accusing him of carrying out the shootings.