MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis pastor is frustrated and speaking out after a deadly week in the Whitehaven community.
Information that the suspects arrested in one of the crimes could be back out on the street soon, has the Pastor of Eureka Truevine Baptist Church, Frederick Tappan frustrated. The pastor says that something is inherently wrong with the system.
The shocking shooting outside “Tha Table” restaurant this week hit the Whitehaven community hard.
Restaurant owner Alfonso Turner, and innocent bystander Tedarius Day were killed in the shooting. The next day Darion Banks and Michael Shaffer were arrested.
When Pastor Eureka Tappan heard of the charges and the bail, it was a gut punch.
“If this is supposed to be a deterrent, we’re missing the boat here,” said Tappan.
Banks is charged with 2 counts of First Degree Murder, Theft of Property, Evading Arrest, and Possession of Prohibited Weapons after police found a stash of guns in the stolen vehicle he and Shaffer were in. He is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.
Pastor Tappan is a former Investigator for the Public Defenders Office.
He can’t understand only charging Shaffer with Theft of Property and Evading Arrest and not murder. Shaffer’s bond is $15,000.
Since there were others in the car the suspects fired on, and they were put in danger, he says state law says it should have been capital murder.
“When we look at it from that point of view, it should have been capital. No bail should have been set. And since you’re not sure exactly who the shooter was, normally, from my experience, they would charge them both with the same crime. And then the truth would come out during the investigation and the trial,” said Tappan.
He says it all looks like the revolving door of crime.
“It goes to the magistrate and the bail is set so low, that they end up being back out on the street being able to put the public in danger again,” he said.
Pastor Tappen is urging clergy to work together on programs to stop crime.
“We as a faith community, have got to come together and figure out what we can do and how we’re going to affect our sphere of influence,” said Tappan.
The District Attorney’s Office said that U.S. Capitol Murder charges involve a lengthy process and would be pre-mature at this point, but could be decided later.
They also said they could not comment on why charges were different for Shaffer, but said that more charges can be added to any case as it proceeds.