In 64% Black / 24% White Memphis Tennessee, Black Mayor Meets With High Ranking Black Gang Leaders And Begs For Ceasefire
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Former Memphis Mayor: Crime rate is ‘a black problem,’, December 14, 2016

The City of Memphis is seeing a record number of homicides this year. The last time the city saw this many homicides was in 1993 and Willie Herenton was mayor.

Herenton said the homicide rate in Memphis now is at a critical level and the fix to the problem is much larger than the elected officials.

“It’s like old news being replayed,” Herenton said.

In 1993, Memphis set a record with 213 homicides. Herenton said a special task force, in the early 90s, helped examine the crime. Years later his administration saw a crime dip as a result of MPD’s Blue Crush.

Blue Crush targeted drug trafficking and crime monopolies. Although he said additional police officers would help the situation, they will not be able to get to the root causes of the violence.

“I’m going to irritate some people when I make this statement: This is a black problem,” Herenton said. “This is a black problem that uniquely impacts the fabric of the black community.”

Herenton said Memphis needs the same thing it needed in 1993.

“What we need in Memphis–we needed it in 1993 but we really need it today–is a massive community engagement initiative like we’ve never seen before,” Herenton said.

He said drugs, gangs, and hopelessness have taken over the streets, and he is calling on people to act and to do it fast.

“What I see is a lack of a sense of urgency,” Herenton said. “I don’t see the black community embracing this as being our challenge.”

As for officials like Mayor Jim Strickland or MPD Director Mike Rallings, he said it’s not fair to put the homicide record on them.

“I don’t care who the mayor is. The mayor cannot take full responsibility for the crime wave in this city,” Herenton said.


 Memphis mayor meets with high-ranking gang leaders to ask for ceasefire,, February 27, 2024

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Memphis Mayor Paul Young met face-to-face with the city’s highest-ranking gang leaders two weeks ago and asked them for a ceasefire. The gang leaders, said the mayor, agreed to put their guns down and stop the killing if certain conditions were met.

Young opened up about his meeting with Memphis gangsters during a panel discussion Monday night about youth workforce development at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. The mayor said gang members told him they want good-paying jobs and the training needed to get those jobs.

“My ask for them in that conversation,” Young said, “was can we get a seven-day ceasefire? Just seven days where there’s no shooting no killing? And they said, ‘Yeah, we would be willing to do that,’ and they gave me a couple of caveats.”

Young said the gangs wanted assurances their enemies would agree to the ceasefire.

“The other thing they said was, ‘Well, you know, our young guys, they need money,’” said the mayor, “They need money in their pockets. That’s the way you can change it.”

Gang members, said Young, want good jobs, and the upskilling needed to get them.

The packed room he addressed at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis was celebrating JPMorgan Chase donating $272,500 to The Collective Blueprint, a nonprofit that helps unemployed young people find a successful career path.

The money will fund a two-year grant to develop an Opportunity Youth Advanced Green Manufacturing Workforce Pathway Program.

According to The Collective Blueprint, Greater Memphis has more than 45,000 young adults, aged 16-24, who are out of school and out of work.

Nearly half these young adults are in poverty, not so very different from the gang leaders Mayor Young spoke with.

”They said, ‘We don’t have programs at our community centers,’” Mayor Young told the crowd, “‘We don’t have things to do, so we go out and we steal cars, and we ride around with our friends.’”

Mayor Young said a Chicago study found a 45% reduction in violent crime arrests for young adults who received a job or internship. That’s what Young envisions for Memphis’ youth, including its’ toughest young gang members.

“The other thing they said was, I talk like them, and I don’t know the power I have,” said Mayor Young, “they said, ‘I never would imagine the mayor would be talking to us directly. If you come to our hood, if you come over here and ask them to put the guns down, they will do it because they’ve never seen anybody like you in their community talking directly to them.’”

To learn new information about all the crime-fighting methods being used in the Bluff City right now, you are welcome to attend the first “One Memphis” community meeting taking place Tuesday, February 27 at 6 p.m. at Whitehaven High School.

If Memphis, Tennessee had zero blacks, the city would have virtually zero homicides or zero non-fatal shootings. Or a reason for the mayor to meet with black gang members, begging for them to stop committing so much crime.

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