MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of people protested in Midtown Wednesday in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In between, the chants of ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ and ‘no justice, no peace’ and passionate pleas for more accountability, Memphis Police Deputy Chief Sam Hines asked the crowd of protestors on Union Avenue a question.
“We’ve had approximately 5 – 6 homicides over the Memorial Day weekend. Is anybody excited about stopping those?” he asked. “Is anybody excited about protesting against those individuals, those victims, those fathers, those sons and brothers who were killed?”
It’s the same question longtime community activist Stevie Moore asked himself.
Stevie Moore is an ex-felon who has served time in several penal institutions for selling drugs. He has successfully transformed his life and is now a local businessman, political consultant, and community activist.
“It’s frustrating to see a double standard,” Moore said. “Why can’t we see a killing as a killing? I’m tired of going to funerals. No one is saying that.”
According to the Memphis Police Department, there have been 87 homicides this year which is an increase compared to the same time last year when there were 72 homicides.
Moore said at least five people lost their lives over the Memorial Day weekend and the streets of Memphis were silent until the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd earlier this week.
“No one’s out in the street saying we got to stop killing until a policeman or a white person kill us and we say black lives matter. Does it really matter? That’s my problem,” Moore said.
Moore told FOX13 he’s not sticking up for law enforcement and he believes what happened in Minneapolis was wrong. But he said he wants to see more people in Memphis stand up for victims here.
“What I saw was actually murder but what I also saw, we are not frustrated. We’re not frustrated. We’re tired of law enforcement killing our people, but I don’t see the frustration about us killing one another.
That’s my problem,” said Moore. “Let’s get frustrated about black folks killing black folks. Memorial Day weekend we lost five people! Who marching? Who mad?”
As soon as it’s safe to gather in large groups, Moore said he will organize another Ride Of Tears rally to remember the victims of gun violence in Memphis.