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Violent crime in Memphis on the rise

There's been a 12% increase in violent crime compared to last year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This weekend's spike in violent crime is raising concern citywide. 

Ten people were shot with two at Incredible Pizza Company and three at CC's Blues Club. 

The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission reports a 12% increase in violent crime, such as homicide, murder, and aggravated assault, from last year. More than 70% of those incidents involved a gun. 

Bill Gibbons, the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission president, said aggravated assaults are driving the increase. 

 "We need to take those aggravated assaults seriously because most are being committed with guns and an aggravated assault can turn into a homicide within in a split second," Gibbons said. 

Memphis Police said the bullets flew at Incredible Pizza after an argument between two families who knew each other. Gibbons said that's more common than you might think. 

"Sending a clear message that engaging in violence is not an acceptable way to resolve conflict," Gibbons said. 

Gibbons said a contributing factor to all this could be the stress of Covid-19 and less police engagement. 

"I do think that’s changing," Gibbons said. "I think the pendulum is swinging back, there’s a lot of concern about crime not just in Memphis, but nationwide. I think we’re seeing more police officers becoming more proactive again in a good way." 

However, there are no signs yet of the violence slowing down. 

Gibbons said it will take all of us from the mayor, law enforcement, and the community to have a real impact and slow the violence. 

 "When you say what’s the immediate solution, again it’s not a week or a month but if we really as a community do those kinds of things together then we can see an impact in a fairly short period of time," Gibbons said. 

MPD Chief CJ Davis has made it clear one of her priorities is building relationships and trust between officers and the people they serve. She believes the more citizens trust their police, the crime numbers will start to fall. 

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