MEMPHIS, Tenn. — So far this year there have been 69 more murders in Memphis compared to the same time last year.
Data from Memphis Police shows a total of 254 murders have happened this year, compared to 185 as of Oct. 9 of last year.
The number of murders hit a record 304 in 2021, beating out the record of 290 set the previous year. Things cooled off a little in 2022, but the violence looks to be on the rise again.
At least three people lost their lives in shootings over the weekend spanning from Cordova to North Memphis to South Memphis. Two people were also shot along Chelsea Avenue on Sunday.
As crime continues to rise in Memphis, some pastors are working to try to make a change within the community.
“It’s going to take all of us working together,” said Pastor Walter Womack, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Memphis Chapter and Pastor at Faithful Baptist Church.
Pastor Womack hosted summer camps to keep young people busy and out of trouble during the summertime. He now says his group wants to make a difference with the new Memphis Mayor-elect Paul Young.
“So I’m looking forward to SCLC being a part of the solution and I think if you’re not a part of the solution and not helping out then you’re a part of the problem,” Pastor Womack said.
Recently the African American Clergy Collective of Tennessee and the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics met to address identifying gun violence as a public health crisis in the state.
J. Lawrence Turner, Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church said together they’re starting a campaign called “We can end gun violence.”
“We’re committed to an extended campaign that will raise consciousness around this state about how gun violence is impacting communities whether they’re urban, suburban, or rural, it’s something that cuts across racial lines and something that even cuts across socioeconomic lines,” said Pastor Turner.
Pastor Turner also says, “The work is so crucial because after it became abundantly clear, after the special session in August where our Tennessee state legislature that there would be any legislation moving forward that would be substantive in this regard. We felt it was incumbent upon us to further this work and understand that it’s going to take time.”
That group is putting out a call to action that they want people to be involved. If you are interested in joining the campaign, email Blackclergytn@gmail.com.