MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As crime in Memphis continues to skyrocket, victims are being spotlighted this week for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Each year there are tens of thousands of crime victims in Shelby County. Tuesday night, the Mighty Lights glowed blue, purple, and green in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, representing lives lost, survivors, and their families.
The sentiment led 60-year-old Milton Johnson to share his story for the first time.
“In 2015, after coming home from my father’s funeral, someone had broke into my house, and they was hiding in the house, and they came out, and they had a gun,” said Johnson. “They approached me, and they shot me twice.”
Thankfully, Johnson said the shooter was sentenced to 15 years without parole but he was denied victim compensation.
“I had more than $300,000 in hospital bills and stuff but I got nothing for it,” said Johnson.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy says he’s working to make the help more accessible to others.
“I’ve had my newly hired grant coordinated work on getting grant money so that we can create a victim restitution fund because the sad reality is victim restitution is often ordered but rarely paid precisely because the defendants in our criminal justice system don’t have money,” said Mulroy.
Along with free parking and offering lunch to witnesses and victims, Mulroy said he also wants to empower survivors and their families by letting them talk directly to offenders.
“I can’t tell you how many times they’ve said to me if I could just get the opportunity to just look them right in the eye and explain to them what they have done,” he said.
He’s hoping these glowing beams shine a light on the services victims need.
“And also to shine the light of truth because that’s what we at our office and everyone in the criminal justice center is supposed to be all about,” said Mulroy.
On Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., several organizations will be partnering for an event called A Hope For The Future: Fight Against Gun Violence in Orange Mound. Open for more information