Uptick in homicides in 2019 has Memphis mayor & activists concerned and focused

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Uptick in homicides in 2019 has Memphis mayor & activists concerned and focused

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – With a spike in homicides in the past week across the city of Memphis, there’s a growing urgency to increase the peace.

Already this year, killings in Memphis are higher than the same time last year, and there’s fear that number could worsen in the warmer months ahead.

Local 24 News also learned Wednesday afternoon of a broader community meeting being planned to cut down on the violence and boost the solve rate of those crimes.

The six homicides in the past week citywide included three Saturday night alone.

The 44 homicides in 2019 far outpace the 30 recorded at the same time last year.

“The vast majority of the murders involve people who know each other, but still a loss of one life is one too many,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.

That’s why Mayor Strickland said he’s focused on the city’s mentoring and youth programs as part of a broader strategy to improve lives and save lives.

“We have to hire more police officers. We have to do more for our young people. We have to recruit more jobs. If someone has a job, they are less likely to commit a crime,” Mayor Strickland said.

“We are talking about human beings down,” Stevie Moore said.

Memphis non-violence activist Stevie Moore shares that frustration. Memphis Police said the solve rate of this year’s homicides is barely more than half, just 55%.

“We’ve got a force, the community force, that we are not using,” Moore said.

That’s why Moore said Wednesday he’s organizing a community meeting this month with MPD and elected leaders to turn urgency into action.

“Let law enforcement tell us what they need,” Moore said. “Let us tell law enforcement what we need so we can come together as a union.”

An MPD spokesperson again urged the public to help them solve these unsolved homicides with anonymous tips at Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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