Weekly Update

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Earlier this week, a Dyersburg man was sentenced in federal court to 40 years in prison “after he fired shots at federal officers during an assault” striking two officers who were treated and released by a local hospital.  The U.S. Attorney said, “The United States will not hesitate to bring significant resources to bear when citizens attack our law enforcement partners.”

Compare this with our state system.

First, on July 2, 2020, while driving a car, a 19-year-old man tried to ram two Memphis police cars, then recklessly swerved through traffic at 90 miles per hour to avoid arrest, and only stopped after causing an accident.  He pled guilty to aggravated assault and was placed on judicial diversion, similar to probation—no prison time.

Second, just a few weeks ago, firefighters were hit on I-240 while they were responding to an incident.

Third, this week, as police approached on foot a stopped car at a gas station, the driver accelerated toward one officer, striking him, and causing him to roll over the hood and be thrown to the ground. The officer injured his left leg and was later released from the hospital. The driver was charged with aggravated assault, a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell and intentionally evading arrest in an automobile. He was given a bond of $15,000 and is still in jail.  

Granted the federal case involved gun violence, but it is clear that no one in the state system can say what the federal prosecutor said above with the same impact.  Even though the recently enacted Truth in Sentencing law greatly helped, our state criminal justice system is still too weak on violent offenders, and we must change it if we want different results.

I am so thankful for these heroes who put their lives on the line every day for us.  Please thank our Memphis Police Officers and Firefighters for their service every time you see them!

The State of Memphis Housing Summit 2022: Earlier this week, the Division of Housing and Community Development hosted its fourth annual State of Memphis Housing Summit. Increasing the number of quality affordable housing units has been an area we have focused on heavily during my time as mayor. We have constructed or incentivized the construction or rehabilitation of over 11,000 quality units but our community still needs many more.

I want to say a special thank you to Director Ashley Cash and her entire team for putting on such a successful and meaningful event.

A new Frayser Library: At long last, we broke ground yesterday on a new library in Frayser.


This new 20,000 sq. ft. facility will be LEED certified, will offer state-of-the-art technology, and more than triples the size of the current facility. There will be a teen innovation center, a bright children’s area, space for outdoor programming, and media production resources.

Once complete, this new library will be a tremendous asset for the Frayser community.

A big deal: As you may have seen earlier this week, Memphis Animal Services’ own, Lawrence Higginbottom, was selected Animal Control Officer of the Year by the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA).

Officer Lawrence Higginbottom

Congratulations to Lawrence on such a prestigious acknowledgement. Thank you for your dedicated service to your city and to our animals within it.

“Rooted at Park and Cherry”: As you may have seen earlier week, the Memphis Botanic Garden announced a new $5 million expansion. This expansion includes:

  • Significant upgrades to the Garden’s original 3-acre Arboretum and Orchard
  • Construction of a new 3,200 square foot Youth Education and Tropical Plants Glasshouse
  • The addition of an Outdoor Kitchen to its Urban Home Garden
  • Establishment of a new Family Event Lawn and Rest Area (Bathrooms)

With the primary focus of these new projects bordering along Cherry Road, these newest Garden initiatives will be a tremendous compliment to recent and future City investments in Audubon Park, Audubon Golf Course, and the new Leftwich Tennis Center.

Congrats!:  At City Council this past Tuesday, Doug McGowen was confirmed as the new president and CEO of MLGW, and Chandell Ryan was confirmed as the new chief operating officer for the City of Memphis.

I cannot think of two better individuals to fill these important roles, and I am pleased that City Council overwhelmingly approved their appointments.

Congratulations to both Doug and Chandell!

Enjoy your weekend!


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