MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One Memphis family is sending a surprising message to a group of teenagers that attacked their son.
The family is dealing with a traumatic event, but they do not want stereotypes or preconceived notions to paint an unfair picture about the boys who attacked a member of their family.
A group of teens was spotted in a Cooper-Young neighborhood riding bikes Sunday afternoon. They can be seen in a video following a pair down an empty street.
Less than two hours later, their actions took a violent turn.
One of them asked 16-year-old Leif Love-Cloys for a dollar. He gave it to them.
But when he refused to hand over a $20 bill they saw in his wallet, the group attacked.
“That’s when they jumped him,” mother Rev. Edith Love said. “One of them held him from behind, while another one was punching him on the sides of his head.”
Though traumatic, the attack did not leave any permanent physical damage, but the family is hurting due to social media messages following the incident.
“I am highly offended by people saying that this was stereotypical black children acting violently,” Love said.
They’ve seen neighbors use terms like thugs and criminals to describe the boys involved. But more so than online comments, they’re concerned about the futures of the attackers.
“These boys, if they don’t alter the path that they’re going down, it’s not a good place for them to be,” Love said.
A report has been filed with Memphis Police, and while no arrests have been made, there’s optimism the suspects will be caught. Rather than a thirst for revenge or justice, the family has a simple wish once the boys are identified.
“I would like to talk to them,” Love said. “I would like to know what they were thinking; what made them think that was okay.”
It’s a pretty powerful reaction to have such perspective after one of your own family members has been attacked.
Anyone with information about the Cooper-Young incident should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.