Statistics can be confusing when it comes to crime. The violent crime rate has dropped in Memphis.
But when you talk of Beale Street and shootings there, now you’ve got concerns.
Four people were shot, five others injured inside the Purple Haze nightclub.
Right around the corner from the most famous street in this city.
Memphis makes a lot of money from people visiting Beale street.
IF they keep visiting.
“The Crime Commission is concerned about our city’s reputation,” says Commission member Harold Collins. “That’s why we have the Operation Safe Community Plan.”
When it comes to Beale Street, however, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings says it is time to bring back the only program that works, and they need to bring it back right now.
“The question I have,” he says, “… is how many people have to be killed, how many have to be stabbed, many have to be stampeded over before we as a city take action?”
All of those things he mentioned, all of them, have happened several times over the last year.
The atmosphere on Beale is fine most people say, until the clock hits 2:00 or 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.
“I think we are very close to having our own Pulse nightclub shooting,” Director Rallings says, “… and I hope everybody is paying attention.”
That’s the Police Director of Memphis saying he thinks we are close to having a shooting like they had in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded.
As far as a solution for Beale Street violence, Director Rallings says they’ve got one.
“We already have a solution for Beale Street,” he says. “I mean we don’t need to keep bouncing around. Beale Street Bucks works.”
Beale Street Bucks was put into effect in 2016.
People going to clubs after 10:00 p.m. were charged a cover fee to get on Beale Street, and were given two coupons for free drinks.
Violence on the street was cut almost immediately.
But members of the Memphis City Council pulled the program last year, after saying Beale Street Bucks discriminates against African Americans.