Weekly Update

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Last week, I talked about violent crime in our community and the revolving door that has unfortunately become our judicial system. I want to talk about it again this week to further reiterate that this issue is deeper than simply arresting people. It will take all of us—elected officials, the court system, public safety professionals, clergy and religious leaders, schools, and families—to solve this complex problem. 


  • September 20, 2020-- suspect charged with aggravated assault (shooting at people on the interstate) $7,300 bond.
  • September 21, 2020--suspect released on bond
  • November 29, 2020--suspect allegedly involved in attempted armed robbery in which four men were shot and two pronounced dead on the scene.
  • July 21, 2021--suspect arrested and charged with first degree murder, two counts of Criminal Attempt Felony to wit First Degree Murder, two counts of Employing a Firearm During a Dangerous Felony, and three counts of Criminal Attempt Felony to wit Especially Aggravated Robbery. No bond set.

In the short-term, we must ensure when violent criminals like the example above are arrested, they’re not released back onto the street to commit the same acts again. In the long-term (and as I have mentioned many times) we must address the root causes of crime—poverty, low educational attainment, and a perceived lack of opportunity.

It’s why providing more activities like we do at our community centers and libraries are so important. It’s the reason why we’ve funded universal pre-kindergarten for all our children. It’s the reason why we created Manhood University and WOWS, our re-entry programs. It’s why we created and funded in this year’s budget our new Group Violence Intervention Program (GVIP). And, it’s why next legislative session we will continue to push for stiffer penalties for violent offenders and more presence from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) on our interstates.

Thank you to MPD, Shelby County Sheriff, and the THP for this week’s announcement of the “Slow Down Memphis” operation to crack down on interstate shootings, reckless driving, speeding and drag racing.

But, we need your help too.

Volunteer with great organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, ARISE2Read, and TeamRead.

You can make a difference in a young person’s life. All it takes is your time.

Excelling at the Excel Center: In today’s world, having a high school diploma can be a huge barrier to employment, but it doesn’t have to be. At the Memphis Goodwill Excel Center, anyone who lives in the Mid-South and does not have a high school diploma can enroll.

Their enrollment process allows a student who dropped out of school with as little as no high school credits to advance through its eight-week learning sessions and earn their diploma in roughly two years.

Thanks so much to Memphis Goodwill and Shelby County Schools for partnering on this initiative. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about the Excel Center, you can go here.

COVID-19 Update: With the new highly transmissible Delta variant taking over as the dominant strain in our community (91.4 percent), getting vaccinated is still the best defense against the virus.


As you can see in the graph below, 73 percent of new cases are coming from people 45 years-old and younger.


As noted by Dr. Anish Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University in this recent interview, “…people are underestimating how bad this variant is, it's really bad if you're unvaccinated."

Our public vaccination site at the Pipkin Building will remain open through the month of August. Please—if you or someone you know has not been vaccinated, go here for more information and get your vaccine today.


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