MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As 18,000 people screamed to the top of their lungs inside FedEx Forum Saturday, a different kind of message is on display just feet away on Beale Street.
It has been nearly a week since a shootout on Beale Street left one man dead and two others in the hospital. Security measures were also taking place following the chaos.
Frustrated by the city’s crime, Tevorius Kimball and the Hebrew Israelites have come to the entertainment district to inspire the community to stop the violence.
“Beale Street is like murder road right now,” Kimball said. “We’ve been called provers and bywords, but we got to realize we are the chosen people, and our community just need to wake up to who really are.”
Among the fray of people, there are also signs that read “no firearms allowed.” Unlike previous weekends, everyone who comes to Beale Street after 8:00 will be checked for weapons and required to pay a security deposit on Friday and Saturday.
Tourists like Mary Green know first-hand the impact of gun violence after her grandson was murdered, and his death has changed her outlook on life.
“I think that it’s great to maintain and then be safe because gun violence is out here,” Green said. “It hurts very hard to me as losing a loved one to gang violence, and I pray each and every day that they stop, stop it.”
Patrons will also notice an increased presence from Memphis Police. This comes after a man lost his life last week on Beale Street. Despite the security changes, the tragedy still weighs heavy for many across the community.
“We had just left before it happened,” Kimball said. “I think it’s a good measure, but we should crack down even more on the communities.”
This week, Memphis’ Mayor told WREG that he believes there should be conversations about Beale Street’s businesses closing earlier on the weekends.
The wanding and security fees will continue until 3 a.m.