MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – If you’ve lived in Memphis for more than an hour, you’ve heard about the violence. It’s everywhere and affects everybody.
In this case, one man in Orange Mound is not waiting for the police or the politicians to take care of business. He’s taking care of it himself.
His name is Keith Leachman. And he was heading for an early death.
“Yeah, I used to work for the other man,” Keith said, “… but God had a better plan.”
He remembers a friend, this was way back 11 years ago, he remembers a friend’s death.
He can’t forget it.
“I had a partner,” Leachman said, “… who died holding my hand back in ’08. I told him I was going to fix it. But revenge is the Lord’s, not mine, so God gave me the idea to go out and try to change lives.”
He’s just a guy.
There are no billboards in the city with his picture. He’s not famous, he’s not running for office.
Keith Leachman is a man who is just sick and tired of seeing people killed in Memphis. So he works every day.
The streets of Memphis are his office – saving lives, turning people around his goal.
“I pretty much do gang prevention,” he told me. “I do street corner counseling. I beat the blocks on a daily basis, trying to make changes in the community. We’ve got too much going on.”
He calls his group “Stop The Killing, Cut The Beef.” Keith Leachman knows the language of the street, because it is his goal to communicate with people.
He sees the results of the violence, and even though he is just one man, he wants all of this killing to come to an end.
“You know we have a problem,” he says. “We have a serious problem. You know everybody is politicking and complaining about the dollars, but forget about the people. We all have a part to play.”
His “Stop The Killing, Cut The Beef” rally will start at 12 noon Saturday, August 17, at Melrose Stadium in Orange Mound.