MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – Shelby County is seeing an alarming trend.
It turns out, teens and young adults are committing more violent crimes than any other age group, according to numbers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
We’re talking about people 24-years-old and younger.
The TBI says they’re responsible for more than half of violent crimes in the county, with murder and robbery topping the list.
From January to February, this age group accounted for 57.1 percent of all murder arrests and 73.7 percent of robbery arrests.
It was worse in 2017, with murder at 90.9 percent and robbery at 76.4 percent.
LaDell Beamon is with Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis.
He largely blames the trend on singers and rappers preaching horrible messages.
“Everything that a lot of kids are getting excited about now is about death and destruction,” Beamon said.
He says young, irresponsible parents make the problem worse when they should be teaching better morals.
“You have parents that are engaged in the same behavior that their children are. How can a child raise a child?” Beamon asked.
His foundation is trying to reverse the trend through the arts.
The strategy was exemplified in March when famous actor and producer Robert Townsend was brought in to talk to kids.
“It’s really about exposing kids to something different,” Beamon said.
As for those singers and rappers, “We literally have to start targeting program directors from music stations, TV executives and just ask them some of the hard questions -like why are you constantly putting out these images when you know it affects people in that age bracket?”