Weekly Update

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I know I write about this often. But I keep doing it because it’s important information, and you need to know that the doors of the criminal court system keep spinning like crazy.

Unfortunately, below is another tragic example.

On May 2, 2023, DR was arrested for three carjackings and three counts of employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony. 

On May 3, 2023, he was released after posting a $50,000 bond, presumably by paying the customary 10% or $5,000 to a bonding company.

Two days later, on May 5, 2023, he was arrested again for unlawful possession of drugs and of a firearm during a dangerous felony.  He was arrested in a house with several other individuals that had outstanding warrants for violent offenses and with five weapons (an AR style rifle, a shotgun and three handguns), one of which was stolen.  He was released on his own recognizance (ROR)—no bond required.

Just six weeks later, he was arrested for killing a man during a carjacking and for another armed carjacking two days earlier.  While in the first carjacked vehicle with another man, he was involved in an accident. He and the other man ran from the scene of the accident “with guns and ski-masks.” Moments later, they approached the victim in an attempt to carjack him. The victim accelerated away, and DR and his accomplice shot him.

First, my prayers are with the family of this victim.  It is truly heartbreaking for them and our community to lose someone in such a tragic and senseless way. May God bless them.

Second, city government and the Memphis Police Department have zero tolerance for violent crime. The court system, however, is different and is our number one challenge on the law enforcement side of the efforts to reduce crime. Also, state law which governs much of the system, unfortunately, allows for the proliferation of guns throughout our community while inadequately punishing the wrongful use of those guns.

Enough is enough. The judicial system and state law must become stronger and more protective of victims if we are going to slow the cycle of violent crime.

Investing in Our Youth:  Almost two years ago, in partnership with the Memphis City Council and Memphis Shelby County Schools, we expanded the successful after-school program of the Boys & Girls Club at Craigmont High School to ten additional high schools. 

There are now almost 3,000 members of those clubs, and 100% of them who are seniors graduate high school with a plan for the future (higher education, employment or military)!

With this exciting new growth, Club members take pathway classes leading towards IT, logistics, automotive, culinary, and welding certifications. Beyond these classes, several Club members have toured colleges, universities, and workplaces. During Spring break of this past school year, a large group went down to Jackson State University - take a look!


Even More Investment in Our Youth: Earlier this week, we opened our fifth splash pad. This one is at the Hollywood Community Center. Between our Accelerate Memphis program and increased commitments within our budgets, we are investing over $100 million into our parks and community centers. This is really an investment in our youth because thousands of them regularly use these improving city assets.


Combining these investments with improved programming, Director Nick Walker and the entire Parks division team have dramatically improved services for our youth and seniors with plans for even more.

Another Balanced Budget: Two weeks ago, the City Council passed my proposed budget with some small improvements, and most importantly—no tax increase.

I am proud to say that in my eight years as mayor, we have not increased your property taxes one time.

Additionally, we were able to provide our firefighters and police officers with a 14 percent pay increase, making our public safety employees the highest paid in our area for the first time in many years.

Both these accomplishments (no tax increase and large pay raises) were in large part enabled by the public safety sales tax referendum that was proposed by the Memphis Police and Memphis Fire Fighters Associations and approved by you in 2019. We have also worked in concert with those same associations since 2019 to allocate the funds exactly the way you the voters intended it – primarily to recruit and retain firefighters and police officers.

Thank you to Chief Financial Officer Shirley Ford and Chief Operating Officer Chandell Ryan for leading the preparation of the budget and working with the council in budget hearings and behind the scenes; to the Memphis City Council (specifically this year’s budget chair Councilman Chase Carlisle) for shepherding the process and ultimately approving the budget in the spirit of compromise that we have maintained during my time as mayor; and to MPA and MFFA for working with us to make the City of Memphis a better place for public safety employees to work.

Enjoy your weekend!


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