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Community leaders discuss solutions to Memphis's gun violence while families continue to grieve

Community members were able to voice suggestions on how to help stop gun-related deaths Tuesday night

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, the Shelby County District Attorney, the Shelby County Health Department among other crime prevention advocates discussed solutions to stopping the city's gun violence, Tuesday night. 

"We’ve got to start finding out why what’s making our young people tick," Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said. "What’s making our young people think that to shoot another human being is okay." 

Pastor Ricky Floyd of Pursuit of God Church in Frayser where the forum was held said it's important for community members to communicate what's happening so we can work together to help our youth. 

“Young people don’t want you to come and just point fingers to them. They want a hug first," Floyd said. They want a hand up first and when we build relationships with the people in the community they give us the opportunity to correct them."

Several community members said it will be important for law enforcement to continue building relationships in every neighborhood. MPD Chief CJ Davis said she plans to have officers across the city working with neighbors on solutions.

"We’re about operationalizing our plan," Davis said. "We’ll be out there in the street." 

Families who have lost children to the violence hope there can be an end to it. 

Sarah Carpenter's 17-year-old grandson Braylon Murray was robbed and murdered in August. She said gun violence tears families apart. 

"Nobody wins in a situation like this. I don’t care who it is young or old no body wins," Sarah Carpenter said, "Your family is going to lose because they will end up incarcerated and we’re certainly losing because Braylon we can’t see him no more." 

Braylon's mother Sharika Carpenter said gun violence can turn into a lifetime of grief for families. 

"They took our life away because I still feel lifeless," Sharika Carpenter said. "I still haven’t learned how to live without Braylon." 

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