Sanford: Mid-South highway shootings are “insane,” but police patrols are “money well spent”

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on highway shootings this year.

The presence of law enforcement on interstates and other major thoroughfares around Memphis has been noticeable and, for the most part, effective. There’s just something about those city and state police cruisers parked along roadways that creates more law-abiding motorists. All of us slow down, if only slightly, at the very sight of a police car.

But there are still those among us apparently who let the least bit of discourteous driving turn them into road rage maniacs. It happened again this week when someone fired numerous shots at a vehicle on I-240 near Walnut Grove. The victim told police she accidently cut off another vehicle at I-40 and Sycamore View. And the next thing she knew, someone was spraying her car with bullets.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. But this is, to put it mildly, insane. No amount of bad driving justifies that kind of potential deadly violence.

The incident marked the 37th time this year that a road rage shooting has occurred on interstates around Memphis. One man was killed earlier this summer. But reports of highway shootings had tapered off after city and state police stepped up road patrols.

So far, MPD has spent more than $700,000 in overtime for the additional police presence. I believe it is money well spent. Because despite the craziness of this week’s shooting, our roadways lately have been much safer. And that’s my point of view.

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