Mayor Wharton Speaks About Oak Court Mall Shooting

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(Memphis) Police are on the hunt for 20-year-old Otis Reddic. He's wanted for shooting a 22-year-old man in the middle of Oak Court Mall this week.

Almost the moment I stepped onto Oak Court Mall's parking lot, mall security told me I had to go. We were kicked off by mall security just a few days after a gunman fired shots at a man's chest inside the mall. The shooting sparked panic all around the city and having us firing questions about public safety.

“Until we deal with the cancer, it’s going to spread,” said Memphis Mayor AC Wharton.

Wharton points out that when crime happens it happens everywhere, that's why he plans on asking city council to expand the Memphis Gun Down program, already in Raleigh and South Memphis, to all areas of the city.

But what else can be done to avoid shooting's like the one Thursday night?

“For me or any other elected official to guarantee a plan so that nothing like this ever happens again, that’s just a big lie and I'm not going to do that,” said Wharton.

But Mayor Wharton says he does promise to push for more police patrols and programs to get stolen guns of the streets of Memphis.

He says the city also needs to have an open and honest conversation.

“We don’t like to talk about race because we are in post racial society. When it comes to crime in this city, it is young black males between the ages of 17 and 24 years,” said Wharton.

Wharton stresses for things too change, there needs to be more programs and mentoring positively impacting the lives of young African-American males; giving them a sense of pride and wanting a bright future.

“When you say we, is that just your administration and the city? Or is that everyone?” asked WREG’s Elise Preston.

“That's everybody, I wouldn’t want a government big enough to do it all,” said Wharton.

Mayor Wharton says strides also need to be made in gun control, but as mayor he doesn’t have that kind of power.

He says people in support of gun control reform; need to contact our state lawmakers.


  • me

    How would gun control have helped in the oak court mall shooting? It is posted not to bring guns there, didn’t stop shooter, he didn’t have a carry permit, didn’t stop shooter, he tried to kill someone which is also against the law. See a trend? New laws don’t matter to people who already break the law, they only hurt people who already obey the law.

  • italian

    I moved out of memphis tn because I never felt safe. I always felt that I was going to become a victim of crime. Mr. Mayor, until you get rid of the corrupt policemen and corrupt government this town will never see crime drop because the people that are surpose to be looking out for the public safety are the same one’s breaking the law.

  • LaDarius

    Surveillance cameras, more police presence, better lighting at night, … all of these resources we need to combat crime, & they cost money. I understand the plight of the city and limited budget/funding.

    What about a curfew for area youth? This cost no money, and would be helpful, I believe.

    • NCOWife2

      I agree with you Greg. I’ve come to the realization that crimes exists in this state simply because it can. Our laws are a joke and so is the Memphis area court system. Shortly after moving back here last year, we were robbed by a contractor. We did everything right…criminal arrests record checked, contractor license checked, recommendations, etc. Everything came back clean. As it turns out, he had been arrested and/or charged with crimes 57 times! I found out by checking the downtown business licensing office, that this guy had mistakenly received a legitimate license of another contractor because they had the same name. Also, while trying to collect evidence to sue him, I came across an article written on a Nashville blog, which discussed the LAZINESS of some of the leaders at Memphis courts.

      Apparently, General Sessions is not as busy as Criminal court, so to even things out, GS takes some cases that should be handled in Criminal court. The article discussed how terrible crime is here, how the collective group of criminals are repeat offenders (which gives the impression that it is widespread), and the reason they continue to commit crimes (because they are almost never tried criminally, they are tried in General Sessions). There was a link to look up people and check their charges. That is were I found my so-called contractor and his 57 charges. I was and still am very angry. This guy has robbed car dealerships, people, sold drugs ON SCHOOL GROUNDS, drives drunk and gets arrested EVERY MONTH, and has NEVER served more than 30 days or paid a fine. It is a Federal crime to be anywhere near a school and sell drugs.

      I have called the DAs office and the governor’s office (which is now a joke with Haslam. Bredesen was awesome…never too busy to speak with a constituent over serious issues, even if they lived in another state), but the Department of Justice needs to investigate why the local courts are mishandling cases. I guarantee that once the corrupt court issues are handled, we will see crime decrease drastically. If we can get the TN Legislature to stiffen penalties, crime will cease to exist in the capacity it does today.

      I know that it is not every young, black male, it is the SAME young, black males committing crimes with no consequences.

      • Julius Jones

        You’re 100% right. The vast majority of crimes are committed by repeat offenders.

        The problem is these miscreants are rarely really held accountable for their crimes.

        If you don’t have the DA dropping or reducing charges, you have a judge meting out “wrist slapping” sentences to these hardened criminals over & over & over again.

        You also have a mayor without a plan, a real empty suit. BTW, your mayor is a career public defender, so you know where he’s coming from.

        Don’t expect any changes in Memphis. It’s apparent the majority “minority” voters like it just fine as it is. Otherwise there would have already been a change.

      • Hard Truths

        I think AC took a higher % of the white vote than of the black vote in the last election.

        Next election, he won’t get many votes at all from voters of ANY race.

        He is a spineless, temporizing placeholder, and we all seem to agree, if only about that.

        Being King Willie’s BOY carries a hefty price.

  • Skeptic

    The only people that will be effected by gun control are the law abiding citizens. The thugs will still have guns. A good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun. Until Memphis stops spending money on stadiums, trolleys, boat docks, and malls and put that money towards hiring more police it will increase.

    • Hard Truths

      What KIND of police would Memphis hire? They now accept cops with IQs as low as 84.5. For real. They are DESPERATE to find people who can be trained as cops.

      84.5 — that’s what’s in the squad cars now — and that’s marginal for McDonald’s workers.

      Looking ahead five years, the police force will either be even more depleted or full of Ton Ton Macoutes like snowbeast.

      MPD is only marginally professional already, and deeply corrupt.

      They hire only within the county, and that’s trolling for a big fish in a mighty shallow gene pool.

      The problems in Memphis will only get worse. They are the fault of both races, and especially of the old white power structure that set blacks against whites.

      And of course Nation of Islam and THEIR kind. I read a biography of Elijah Muhammud in the 60s when Malcolm X broke with the old racist.

      Then Louis Farrakhan murdered Malcolm X and went back to Elijah Muhammud’s hateful teachings.

      • Hard Truths

        Nation of Islam is also well-represented on the police force.

        If we tolerate them on the police force, we should tolerate K lansmen as cops, too.

        Of course, we should tolerate NEITHER.

  • smith

    Need a new Mayor , police director, city counsel. do away with profilling laws and if you see a getto cruser in a hood stop it and check for guns. another way to stop it would be for law enforecemrnt to turn there heads a let the people take care of this, Yes! there will be a lot of killing at first but then the criminal element in our socity will be gone

  • 1midtownmike

    “We don’t like to talk about race because we are in post racial society. When it comes to crime in this city, it is young black males between the ages of 17 and 24 years,” said Wharton.

    I believe the part about black males but the post racial remark is a load of garbage.

    I guess “post racial” means eradicating white heritage or culture.

  • Ricky

    Hmmm.. True that no new laws will aid in abating these crimes and these criminal activities, but….. If we would stop and frisk almost arbitrarily as in NY (whether it’s people or vehicles), we could get the firearms off the streets of Memphidishu. We have to stop all this democrat on democrat violence, yo!

  • Don

    He says the city also needs to have an open and honest conversation.

    Hey, You won’t have any Honesty with the current Tribe Chief. (AC wharton) The only you will get is lip service & BS.

  • Sheds

    When did Memphis become a post racial society? Reverse racism that the City of Memphis promotes must be post racial.

  • Ricky

    AC speaks of boosting police presence and at the same time is allowing police numbers to dwindle. We have roughly 12 officers on each shift in each precinct at any one time and for a city this size……. you need 50 officers per shift per precinct. AC is talking out the side of his head. Elect some confident leaders who will in turn strengthen the city’s police dept..

  • Long Gone

    “We don’t like to talk about race because we are in post racial society. When it comes to crime in this city, it is young black males between the ages of 17 and 24 years,” said Wharton.

    Wharton stresses for things too change, there needs to be more programs and mentoring positively impacting the lives of young African-American males; giving them a sense of pride and wanting a bright future.

    In a city 70% black he blames whites. Its very simple build more jails, put people in them and keep them there.

  • Don

    Memphis is a city with no mayor, All Memphis has is a lawyer with Lip Service and he needs to be arrested for telling lies.

  • papawofboo

    To me it’s simple, load up all the “gang members” and fly them off to an island in the middle of the ocean. They haven’t earned the right to have “rights”.

  • stuckincrazyland

    Being @ 30 year old AA female born @ raised in the north, all I can say is THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS!!!!!!! YOUR WHOLE CITY IS A JOKE!!! You bash each other, I don’t see anyone trying to make it better..

    • Hard Truths

      Most AA professionals I know in Memphis are NOT FROM Memphis, and the ones I know are just as disgusted with this Third World Clown Town as you and I are.

    • NCOWife2

      Unfortunately, you are somewhat correct. We recently returned home in late 2012, after my husband retired from the military.

      As far as the racial undertones, I began posting on this site last year and noticed that nearly every racist post against AA’s come from the same person, which myself and others nicknamed, Sybil. Sybil posts under MULTIPLE accounts and will talk to and answer himself/herself. I contacted WREG and filed a complaint about the boards being unmonitored and felt like WREG was very defensive and refused to do anything. I do know that others complained as well and received the same treatment. So, I stopped posting and began to watch other news stations that are a bit more professional.

      Skip forward one year, I am now seeing that an AA is doing the same thing against whites. Now, here come the complaints. All I can say is, “Wow…just wow!” While I don’t condone racism either way, it just baffles the mind how a negative comment can be stated about AA’s on every WREG news story, but when a supposed AA posts disparaging comments about whites, they come out swinging. I know they are reading the boards because they are posting; therefore, they know EXACTLY who is posting the abundance of negative comments, but they don’t care as long as AA’s don’t say anything negative about whites.

      If everyone in the city would get on board and get rid of the career politicians, hire new school board members (preferably with teaching experience), petition the legislature for stiffer crime penalties, get rid of corrupt police (this is the ONLY city I’ve ever lived where police break laws in the open), and enact a little more diversity…this city would see tremendous growth and be able to compete with other major cities across the nation. The joke is that there are too many people of authority that want to be seen/recognized, but have little else to contribute. We need well-traveled, well-educated (academic or otherwise), commonsensible professionals that care about fixing the problems of this city.

  • Hard Truths

    Mayor Wharton,

    This is the Memphis you inherited from WILLIE HERENTON. His racist, coded messages got through to the racist scum like snowbeast and her fellow bigots from Nation of Islam. And the racist street gangs.

    And they are, by god, EMPOWERED now.

    Mayor Wharton, you were silent for FAR too long to save Memphis from what your predecessor did. There was a time when you could have stood up, and you didn’t, and King Willie’s malign legacy is crushing you now.

    You’re just a place-holder. Memphians both black and white expected a lot more from you.

    Mayor Wharton, you were silent when someone needed to speak truth to power. A lot of blacks think you’re bad for not being a racist like Willie was to whites. And whites are realizing that you’re just a place-holder. You’re neck-deep in King Willie’s sordid, shameful legacy.

  • Kevin Lewis

    You can search this entire world for a Mayor…but He/She won’t be able to stop crime…You can hire police officers from all over the state…and they won’t be able to stop crime…you can build a prison or put a Cop on every street corner and you won’t be able to stop crime…you can get rid of every law in the land about taking matters into your own hands and you won’t be able to stop crime. Crime is in the heart of those who commit a crime. Yes the mall said no firearms inside…they are talking to Law abiding gun permit holding citizens, not the criminal element…They don’t want permit holders with weapons in a crowed place like a mall because we don’t have the training to know better than to try and shoot at someone in a situation like this. I can’t imagine a Police Officer firing his weapon at this guy in this situation either because people had to be running all over the place and the criminal element knows this. Crime is just a part of life, and we will have to continue to live with. I have a carry permit and I’m packing everywhere the law allows me to, but I, a family member, or a friend would have to be directly threatened before I would use deadly force because even thought the law says I can carry…some ADA is sitting in the cut ready to prosecute me if they get the chance…and that’s for real.

  • Spell check this BI-TCH

    Is Malcom X dead? I’m going to look it up. If I had too guess I would say he is. Cuz he had a loudmouth and usually there is a bullett that has your name on it. Snowbeast the idiot Farrakan is as corrupt as your dumb pres. All racial stuff aside. Don’t you see what they are doing to your race. They want you to depend on them and for you to be in poverty. If you like being equal then awesome. Do you see the whites out killing the blacks? Nope but you see blacks killing everybody. Do you get it? You should think long and hard. Jesus was white. Do you think he is a Demon?

  • Spell check this BI-TCH

    Snowbeast it seems u have to dig deep to find something on the white people yet the black crime fills up the paper the tv news and online. Do you see

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