MEMPHIS, Tenn. –An Oakhaven family’s tragedy can hopefully help other families learn about resources in the City of Memphis.
“He was a good person. He was very known and a lot of people were left hurt with what happened to him.”
Through a translator, family and friends told WREG’s Shay Arthur about Chris Rodriguez. They said he was a hard working man.
“It wasn’t the first time they’ve tried robbing this place.”
Last check with the Memphis Police Department they were searching for two armed men who witnesses say robbed Rodriguez around 1 a.m. Saturday. However before he was killed in front of his home loved ones said Rodriguez’ and other homes have been targets before.
Family said they’ve made reports but haven’t really gotten anywhere. WREG checked with police to if those claims are true and if they’ve been called to the home before, but we were told to submit a public records request.
According to Mauricio Calvo, Executive Director of Latino Memphis, Latinos are the fastest growing minority in Memphis, with a population of at least 80,000. He said his non-profit help other families in similar situations.
“Once a crime has happened one of the things we really try to do is help the family work with Memphis Police to help navigate through the process.”
Calvo said reporting a crime is a two way street. While there are language issues, there are cultural issues and the victim often isn’t following up.
“Often times people get discouraged and I think what happens with that is that we become really easy victims. We’re vulnerable,” he added.
On Tuesday, MPD said Police Director Mike Rallings has been meeting with community and clergy leaders in the Latino community. The agency has also been working to recruit bilingual officers but said the number they have varies as officers check in on their shifts. A spokesperson with the department said officers recently held a community meeting at the Bella Vista Apartments in Hickory Hill where there is a large Latino population.
Calvo told WREG they’re working to get the word out about how Latino Memphis can help as the community continues to grow.
“It takes both sides but it can take three sides. It takes both of them and sometimes someone like us to come help.”
For more information on Latino Memphis, click here. or you can call 901-366-5882.