Community members call for change after violent weekend in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Community members are calling for change and action after another violent weekend in Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department has responded to 192 homicides this year. Records show the violence rate is inching closer to the record of 228 homicides in 2016.

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“I’m not afraid of the pandemic of the coronavirus, I’m more concerned about the pandemic of violence that continues to plague us and no one has a particular plan to address,” said Kevin Brooks, Providence AME Church social justice minister.

Brooks said it’s a story that happens way too often in the community, an act of violence taking away a life too soon.

Brooks said Brandon Fleming was shot and killed Sunday afternoon near Boyd Street. He said the teen was a student at Booker T. Washington High School.

His death is one of the 192 homicides so far this year.

RELATED: Violent weekend: Number of murders in Memphis much higher than this time last year

“While we’re talking about plans for transitioning our students into schools, plans for testing, we need to talk about plans for how we address violence, our children our city they’re traumatized,” he said.

Brooks said he didn’t know Brandon personally, but he was outraged by his death and wants to see more to stop the violence.

He organized a march for Monday afternoon which only got a small turnout, but Brooks said he wasn’t discouraged by the showing.

“It’s so easy for folks to blame the victim, ‘Oh he was selling drugs, he was gang banging, all that is irrelevant,” he said. “He is a life that mattered, and if you had invested in Brandon or any other child - I don’t know the situation, I just know he was in this community, he was in this block.”

Brooks said that’s why there’s a push for defunding the police and investing more in community resources and opportunities for kids.

“When you cut funding for afterschool programs, when you cut funding for mentorship programs and when you cut funding for schools you are saying these little black boys and black girls do not have any value and so that’s what we’re setting out to do,” Brooks said.

MPD doesn’t have any suspect information in this shooting.

If you have any information about this case or any of the others that happened this weekend, you’re asked to call Crimestoppers at 901-528-CASH.