Category Archives: Crime & Violence

Memphis/220

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My heart aches for Memphis….

35 years

I have lived in Memphis, TN my entire life. I have so many memories that a collection of books couldn’t contain them all. From childhood memories to memories of historical events that only a Native Memphian could truly embrace. I remember being a little girl and  going down to The National Civil Rights Museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to march. I remember going to Libertyland during the summers with my classmates because for Memphis City Schools it was an annual field trip that ALL of the schools participated in. I remember the big ice storm of 1994. It was something we had never experienced before. The entire city was frozen.

Memphis is the place I was born, raised and decided to get married and have children in. Memphis is where the majority of my family resides. I hold it so dear to my heart and that is why Memphis at its current state breaks my heart. The violence leaves me speechless.

220

Memphis currently stands at a staggering 220 homicides as of today. From January 1, 2016 to December 18, 2016 220 people have been murdered in my city. It is not only disturbing but it is also frightening. Every day faces of victims flash across the news screen. Teenagers being gunned down in cold blood. Elderly people being robbed and shot to death. Innocent working people being preyed upon and murdered in their own homes. From family members to familiar faces of former classmates and notable people throughout the city, hearing of violent crimes daily has become the norm for the citizens of Memphis. The majority of the cases result in arrest of the suspects, however the fact that people are being murdered almost daily in the city is still breathtaking.

Along with a high volume of murders are a high volume of robberies, home invasions, domestic assaults and other violent crimes. This city is dangerous and I as a citizen am alarmed and disappointed. Might I add that daily I am also scared of what might happen to myself and my family. I am raising children in this city and it is a terrible feeling to know that shots are being fired, people are being killed and my children could be an innocent victim of someone elses’ recklessness.

What Happened?

I remember a city where neighbors knew each other, families helped to raise the children, teachers and public officials provided assistance and mentoring and the VILLAGE was strong. Children could play without fear, elderly people sat on their porches enjoying the weather and working people could safely make a living. But something happened. Now the children have developed a natural instinct to get on the floor when you hear gunshots, the elderly people peep from their blinds, they dare not sit outside and working people lock their doors immediately upon entering their vehicles, they set their alarms at home and dash from the car into what used to be the safety of their homes.

Love. respect and the desire to live as decent citizens has left the city of Memphis. So many parents are living loose, drug-filled, careless lives themselves that they are unable to acknowledge that their children are the robbers, murderers, carjackers and rapist that we see on the news. The desire to have good children who know right from wrong is no longer a desire for many parents of this city. They no longer care to teach their children to stay away from drugs because they do drugs themselves! They cannot tell their children not to act out violently because they themselves act out violently and are proud of it!  Respect for authority has been tossed out of the window. No one feels the need to respect anyone other than themselves and unknowingly they don’t realize that the lack of respect that they have for their neighbors, authority, friends and family members reflects directly back to the respect or lack of respect they have for themselves.

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Da Dilemma: Forgiveness

Kevin and Jermaine grew up together and were close friends all the way up to high school. Their Jr. Year in high school both boys began to hang with a bad crowd of people and even though they remained in school, both were involved in fights, minor drug selling and other hood activities. One day as they were walking through the cut, they saw a group of guys who lived a couple of blocks over that they had problems with before. They both knew that an altercation was about to take place, but neither boys were cowards so they kept walking right into the path of trouble.

 When they got close enough the boys said some things, and Jermaine and Kevin said some
things. As the argument got more and more heated Jermaine decided that he wasn’t about to continue argue with these fools. He told Kevin they should leave, they started to walk away and as they did they heard one of the guys yell that he should shoot them for talking smack. Jermaine began to get nervous, because he knew these guys did carry guns. He and Kevin began to walk a little faster and as they neared the next street he heard someone yell and when he and Kevin turned around he saw the guy with the gun. They were frozen in place, neither could move. They realized that the bullet was headed directly towards Kevin. Right at the moment that the bullet would have struck him Kevin reached out and pulled Jermaine in front of him. Jermaine was shot in the
chest.

 Jermaine was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and almost lost his life. Kevin had the nerve to come and visit him at the hospital, but Jermaine informed the nurse that he did not want Kevin there. Kevin tried to explain that it had been a nervous reflex that caused him to do what he did, but even with his apology and explanation Jermaine refused to listen.

Continue reading Da Dilemma: Forgiveness