Citizens want answers to violence in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — From Downtown to Cooper Young. Different crimes, the same deadly results and the same cry from citizens fed up.

"There is always some sort of excuse to explain this away. Nobody wants to say people get murdered in our neighborhood. Not here in this part of town," said Mark, who lives in Midtown. "But here is blood where a guy was shot and killed the other night."

Mark wanted us to show his memorial instead of his face. He put up the memorial at McLean near Peabody, where a man died from gunshots over the weekend.

He hung a tattered red sheet for the lives lost and a baby carriage with crime scene tape to show the victim was someone's child. He said a chair shows the apathy of many who sit by while the killings soar toward 100 so far this year.

"I am not a policeman. I am not the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee. I am just a guy. It is their job to figure out what to do," Mark said.

Bill Gibbons now heads up the Shelby County Crime Commission. On WREG's Live at 9, he pushed going back to what worked 10 years ago, Blue Crush, putting more officers in high-crime areas.

"It makes sense. It's a matter of putting our police resources in the right place at the right time so it has maximum impact on the crime rate. If you are down 400 officers and you don't have enough or as much funding for overtime, obviously you can't do that as effectively as we were able to do in that five-year period 2006-2010," Gibbons said.

What happens in the meantime?  Perhaps a  curfew — there has been one before. What about getting sheriff's deputies to help in high-crime areas and downtown?

"Crime is everywhere. Solutions? I wouldn't know solutions. Everyday there is something happening. You just have to get guns out of young people's hands," said Damani Ellis of Midtown Memphis.

We talked to a representative of the Sheriff's Office. He said while police and the Sheriff's Office work together, there has been no specific request made for deputies to assist police in high-crime areas or in downtown.


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