Photo: AP

Mark Hughes, the brother of protest organizer Cory Hughes, has been released from police custody after being identified as a suspect in Thursday night’s shootout in Dallas. “I just got out of the interrogation room for about 30 minutes with police officers lyin’, saying they had video of me shooting,” he told CBS DFW, “which is a lie.”

Police had tweeted a photograph of Hughes marching in the protest and carrying a rifle. He was later downgraded to a person of interest. He turned himself in on Thursday night and was released around 1 o’clock Friday morning.

Police had told him “that they have witnesses saying I shot a gun, which is a lie,” Hughes said. “I mean, at the end of the day, the system is trying to get me.”

His brother, Cory Hughes, expressed similar frustration. “You know, I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now,” he said. “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?”

When Dallas authorities identified Mark Hughes as a suspect, video filmed after the shooting began emerged on Twitter that appeared to show Hughes far from the location of the shooting.

Cory Hughes told the Dallas Morning News that he told his brother to turn his rifle over to police as soon as the shooting started. The rifle, which Mark Hughes was carrying legally, was apparently unloaded.

“Mark Hughes is not the suspect,” Cory Hughes said. “He was simply exercising his right. He never thought by exercising his right he was gonna be plastered all over the national news as a suspect.”

“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?” Hughes asked of police, speaking to KTVT after his release. “We’ve been getting death threats.”