Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on the shooting outside Wolfchase Galleria

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the shooting outside Wolfchase Galleria.

When we talk about fighting crime in Memphis, we usually put the responsibility on police and politicians. If only we had more officers, the saying goes, crime would go down. But even if we had hundreds more police, it would have little impact on random violence that breaks out in public places. When that happens, it literally strikes chilling fear in the minds of innocent bystanders.

That was the case last Sunday after shots were fired just outside Wolfchase Galleria Mall. The gunfire sent shoppers running frantically for cover. Many of them hid inside stores until it was safe to leave. The good news is, no one was hurt. And police have now arrested two juveniles, including a 16-year-old who apparently fired the shots. Police said the violence resulted from an argument involving as many as five young men.

That is the kind of crime that police can do little about except investigate and make arrests, which happened quickly. It’s also the kind of crime that hurts mall businesses. The sad fact is, some people, juveniles and adults, sometimes resort to violence in public places without giving any thought to innocent bystanders.

Our only hope then, is for those who are close to would-be perpetrators to intervene and help steer them away from violence, and especially away from guns. Police and politicians cannot do it. But the community as whole probably can. And that’s my point of view.

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