Families fed up with gun violence show raw emotion to MPD and other officials at Orange Mound event

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence in Memphis met at an Orange Mound church, Monday, after they said they have heard little to no information from police concerning their loved one’s cases.

“If I call email or text, it goes unanswered.  You can go down there and stand down there. I want to be heard. I want justice. I want people to speak up. I need help. I want help and my son deserves it,” said Natasha Nickson, the mother of Tyerell Jones, 15.

Nickson said her teen son was gunned down in 2020.

Monday, family members said they expected more lawmakers and the chief of the Memphis Police Department to be in attendance at the meeting.

Shelby County Commissioner Vance Turner was the only lawmaker to show up at the meeting.

Commissioner Turner suggested the family members attend a county commission meeting and a city council meeting to voice their concerns.

“You don’t all have to come down together, but it’s more impactful if you do come down together. Just take the commission over,” said Commissioner Turner.

Valencia Whitten said her son, Carlos Whitten Jr., was also gunned down on the streets of Memphis back in 2020.  She said she has also received little to no information from MPD detectives concerning her son’s case.

“It’s like (there are) no answers or the detectives have changed. The detective has changed two or three times to where we have to do our own homework to see who the detective is on his case,” said Whitten.

Organizers said the chief of the Memphis Police Department sent word that she is willing to meet with smaller groups of parents who attended the meeting to discuss their loved one’s cases.