Midtown Deli to Reopen, Address Nuisance Issues

Local News

A Midtown deli closed last week as a public nuisance will be allowed to reopen after agreeing Tuesday to take steps to improve safety and discourage illegal activities on the property.

The Express Deli and Grocery at 1295 Jefferson Ave. at Claybrook was closed Jan. 10 because of numerous incidents involving drug trafficking, prostitution, assaults, robberies and thefts

An investigation by the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit showed 69 calls for service between June of 2016 and September of 2018, resulting in 43 incident reports and 29 arrests, including 17 felony arrests on the store’s premises and surrounding property.

The temporary injunction signed by Judge Patrick Dandridge in Environmental Courtwas lifted Tuesday after owner Fatima Saeidi agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding to make improvements to the property.

Under the MOU, Saeidi agreed to install security lighting and surveillance cameras, allow Memphis Police to access the cameras, hire a security guard to monitor outside the store where nuisance activity is alleged to have occurred, pay $300 restitution to offset a portion of the MPD investigation, and place No Trespassing signs outside the store and authorize police to enforce the no trespassing order.   

Police said the store attracted loiterers, crack cocaine traffickers and was the site of “illegal and dangerous activity.” The store is in a residential and commercial area, and is less than 1/3 mile from two churches and a school.

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