Weekly Update

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Earlier this week, a person was sentenced after conviction for the January 6 U.S. Capital attack. His sentence was 22 years. The federal prosecutor argued for a long sentence so it could “act as a deterrent to others seeking to impose their political views by force.”  He said, “We need to be sure that the consequences are abundantly clear to anyone who might be unhappy with the 2024, 2028, 2032 or any future election for as long as this case is remembered.” 

With regard to the 18-year sentence for another January 6 criminal, a national security analyst for CNN said such a sentence would have a “chilling effect on these groups” and make it “more difficult for them to recruit.”

On our local level, are the consequences of criminal activity abundantly clear to others seeking to carry out the same actions? 

Are the sentences acting as a deterrent?

Unfortunately, the answer to the first question is “yes” and the second question “no.”  The message from 201 Poplar and Juvenile Court is clear; those involved in criminal activity in Memphis know that there are little-to-no consequences as a result of their actions. I have spoken with several Memphians working in street violence intervention, and they have told me that the lack of consequences for illegal actions has made it harder to mediate conflicts, prevent retaliations, and offer help to turn their lives around.

As a result, this year, violent crime has increased by 7.7 percent and property crime by 30.7 percent.

Here is an example. In the last 18 months since March 2022, Memphis police have arrested 2,366 people for theft of and from motor vehicles. In court, there has been almost zero punishment or intervention. As a result, despite the large number of people arrested, those crimes have increased this year by 53.6 percent.

The message needs to be clear in Memphis:  

  • If you are charged with firing a gun at another person, you will be punished and spend many years in prison.
  • If you are arrested for theft of or from a motor vehicle, there will be significant consequences.

As it stands today, that is unfortunately not the case. Please continue to let your voices be heard.

Classic College and Career Fair: Earlier today, our Office of Youth Services held its Classic College and Career Fair. Over 2,000 students attended with over 135 colleges and employers represented.



This event was a tremendous success. Thanks to Director Ike Griffith and his team for all their hard work to make it happen again this year.

140th Police Recruit Class:  Last night, we graduated 33 new police officers!  As outlined recently, we have improved the pay, benefits and promotions for Memphis police officers, with the goal to retain and recruit more for the department.


Currently, we have 1,959 officers, 59 recruits in the academy, and 46 PSTs, and every day, we are aggressively recruiting more to join the force. When you see a firefighter or police officer, please thank them for their service.

Tom Lee Park: It’s hard for me to believe that it was only six years ago that I appointed a panel (chaired by Alan Crone) to develop a new dynamic, connected vision of our riverfront. This past weekend that work was revealed for all the world to see.

So much has happened in those few intervening years. Gone are parks with Confederate statues and in their places are new gathering places, common ground for the entire community, new trails, and trailblazing new parks setting standards for the country. 

There is also a reimagined Cossitt Library and a much-needed mobility center only a block from the new park.  And there is more to come – a new art museum high on the bluff, fully restored historic cobblestones, new docks to stake our claim to the growing cruise ship industry, and new plans for Wolf River Harbor.

Last Saturday’s grand opening of this spectacular park proves what we can do when our ambition, pride, and community spirit come together – we aim high and exceed expectations.

On behalf of the City of Memphis, I am proud of the finished product, and I am grateful to the many partners and civic leaders who made it possible. 

It is said that a river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence. This great city is also persistent, and because of it, we opened an exciting new chapter in Memphis’ history. 

tom lee

tom lee 2

If you haven’t been to the park yet, this will be a great weekend to check it out.

Enjoy your weekend!


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