Memphis Police Director releases statement about 213 homicides in 2016

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. –The shooting death of a 24-year-old woman early Friday morning meant Memphis tied its record 1993 homicide record of 213.

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings released the following statement:

This morning, I was awakened to the horrible news that we have reached 213 total homicides.

This means that 213 Memphians have been taken away before they could reach their full potential in life. 213 Memphians will not be here to enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones. It’s even more heartbreaking to know that almost 50% of these victims knew their assailants.

These are family members, friends, neighbors, and known associates that were senselessly killed by someone that they loved or trusted.

I have a message to those that choose to be on the other side of the law and terrorize the citizens of Memphis… We will not rest. We will not stop. We will find you and we will bring you to justice. On Tuesday, Markavious Gray found out the hard way. Gray was responsible for the July 2015 homicide of Quincy Jett.

The investigators continued to work this case for over a year and this week, we were able to take Gray into custody and charge him with First Degree Murder in Perpetration of a Felony to wit Robbery.

I’m so thankful for the men and women in our department who work so diligently to help bring closure to these grieving families.

Of these 213 cases 150 have been solved along with 7 cases from previous years. This puts our solve rate at 74%, one of the highest in the nation. To date, ninety-seven (97) physical arrests have been made and four (4) warrants have been issued for suspects that remain at large. In addition, eighteen (18) cases have been ruled as justified homicides by the District Attorney General’s Office.

• Thirty (30) are domestic violence related.
• Seventy-two (72) of the homicides involve gang members.
• 173 of the homicides were committed with a firearm.

As a police department we fight crime to the best of our ability and continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to find the best practices on fighting crime. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to intervene when some makes the decision to commit murder. I have previously asked the community to take a stand and demand that these killings stop. Today, I ask that the faith based community reach out and open their doors and encourage reasonable conflict resolution practices. Tonight when we are with our loved ones and this weekend when we are at our respective places of worship, we must engage in a real conversation about alternative methods of conflict resolution. Encourage your loved ones to commit to saying No to guns, gangs, drugs, and violence. This is Memphis; we are a resilient city and a strong community. We must get back to loving and working with our families and neighbors to reduce homicides and crime in general.

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