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Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on police, protests, and COVID-19

“All we need now is an invasion of locusts,” the mayor said.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, “All we need now is an invasion of locusts.”

It’s been that kind of year.

Coronavirus quarantines, protests in the streets from people who feel police use too much violence, people staging a sit-in in front of Memphis City Hall.

He wanted the job.

The streets have been quiet for weeks. There are still a lot of people who have concerns about police using excessive force.

“We‘ve met with several groups,” the Mayor says. “We have another meeting scheduled for Wednesday.”

It has always taken a certain type person to be an officer. It is even tougher now to find people. Memphis is actively looking for more officers.

“We have had more people than normal not show up for testing or literally taking their names out of consideration. So we anticipate recruiting will be tougher for the next few months.”

Don’t forget about the Coronavirus. He doesn’t. Mayor Strickland expects to get the ordinance making mask wearing mandatory in the next few days.

“We are not going to get compliance through law enforcement alone. We don’t have enough police officers. We don’t have enough code enforcement officers to do that. We’ve got to change the hearts and minds of Memphians.”

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