Dr. Herenton calling the black community to take accountability for Memphis crime

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- In 2016, there were 228 homicides in the Memphis city limits.

Dr. Willie Herenton said that two hundred of those homicides were involving perpetrators that were black and victims that were black.

"Now you tell me that that isn’t a black problem," said Dr. Herenton.

Police say 75% of those murders were gang related.

"What we are calling for, quite frankly, is for the Black community, especially Black men to take ownership and accountability in particular for this problem," expressed Dr. Herenton to WREG

Dr. Herenton told WREG that people tell him that the crime is because of poverty.

But he says that poverty does not give anyone the right to kill or even steal things from others.

Dr. Herenton is proposing a community mentorship and multiple juvenile rehabilitation facilities in Shelby County that would reform, educate and provide health services and job training.

"There are no quick fixes. We got to change the paradigm. We got to attack the root causes and of course poverty is a factor and a low education attainment, blighted neighborhood, fatherless boys."

Herenton’s proposal could keep $17 million yearly that is being sent out of Shelby County to house juveniles.

Herenton’s proposal is being met with support and also with many questions.

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