WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — After a deadly weekend which saw three lives claimed in a single day, West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon is calling for a ceasefire.
In his State of the City address, he announced that the Second Chance auto shop, where two men were killed Saturday morning, will no longer be doubling as a nightclub. “There will be no more parties at the Second Chance event center,” McClendon said.
Second Chance’s owner Corey Green declined WREG’s request for an interview, but said it was his idea to stop hosting parties. He said he was still open to the idea of hosting children’s events.
“As far as the parties and so forth, I don’t think those two things should go together,” said Charles Murray who was woken up by the gunfire. “Waking up to that is just, I mean, it’s tough.”
The decision to close the nightclub isn’t sitting well with everyone, however.
“That’s how this man makes most of his money. He’s not responsible for what happened at his shop the other night,” said Kierra Anderson.
McClendon’s other big announcement is drawing broad support. He said the city plans to start enforcing a curfew once it can redraft the city’s ordinance to “give it more teeth.”
The curfew is 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays for everyone under the age of 18.
“I think it’s a good idea. I mean, some of these kids still in school. Why not?” said Anderson.
“I’m all for it. I mean, when I was a teen growing up, it wasn’t a law, it was mandatory by our parents,” said Murray.
According to West Memphis Police, homicides are technically down in the city. There have been five so far in 2019 compared to six during the same period in 2018.
If you don’t count the three homicides this weekend, McClendon said the city would have seen a 66 percent dive in the homicide rate compared to 2018.
“I can’t see how those numbers, no. They got to do some explaining. I don’t believe that,” said Murray.
It may not seem real to all West Memphians yet, but McClendon said to just give the city time.
“We are not going to be what other people say that we are. We’re gonna be better, and West Memphis is truly gonna be Best Memphis,” he said.
The city hasn’t said when to expect a new curfew ordinance.