The Man Wrongfully Suspected As The Dallas Shooter Was Released, But Not Before The Nation Knew His Face

After being questioned as a suspect in the fatal shootings of five police officers Thursday night, the man wrongly suspected as the Dallas shooter was released from custody early Friday morning. Mark Hughes, the brother of protest organizer Cory Hughes, was identified as a shooting suspect after police tweeted a picture of him marching in the protest with a rifle. The rifle, which was completely legal given Texas’ open carry laws, was unloaded the whole time. Mark immediately handed it over to cops when the shooting began, according to The Washington Post, as a precaution for this exact scenario. The fact that the cops not only immediately presumed a Black Lives Matter protester was the shooter, but also spread his name and photo widely before garnering concrete evidence, shows a clear bias, atmosphere of suspicion, and lack of consideration for his safety.

According to Mark, the police told him they had witnesses who saw him shooting a gun, a claim that was quickly exposed as a lie when video footage emerged on Twitter that showed Mark far away from the shooting. He told CBS DFW in an interview: “I just got out of the interrogation room for about 30 minutes with police officers lyin’, saying they had video of me shooting — which is a lie.”

Knowing the immense risks connected with having his face plastered as a suspect, Mark turned himself in last night and remained in custody for hours before being released this morning at 1 a.m CT. Despite the fact that he is no longer a suspect, the Dallas Police have neglected to delete the tweet bearing his image, which essentially leaves a target on his head for people unaware that he’s been cleared.

His brother, Cory, expressed deep frustration and sadness at the accusations in a statement to The Dallas Morning News: 

“You know, I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now. 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?”

One of the most disconcerting aspects of this scenario is the fact that other news outlets quickly released his name and image during his swift arrest and police questioning, further spreading suspicion within a few short hours of the shooting. Without any evidence against him, the entire nation thought he shot and killed multiple cops.

Mark expressed his understandable anger about the situation when he spoke to KTVT following his release, saying, “Y’all have my face on national news — are y’all gonna come out and say that this young man had nothing to do with it? We’ve been getting death threats.”

For the record: Mark Hughes had nothing to do with it.