FOX13 pushes MPD for answers after emotional gun violence meeting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A day after family members made emotional pleas at an Orange Mound church over their concerns that little to no information is coming out of the Memphis Police Department on their loved ones’ cases, Fox13 is digging deeper into where the breakdown in communication is occurring.

“We had a Detective Haynes tell us that he got pulled off the case to work on Young Dolph’s case and even if that’s true, to actually tell us that, to basically tell us our son is not as important as Young Dolph … you know … how do you tell parents that?” said Demetriss Conley, the father of Tyerell Jones, 15, who was gunned down in 2020 in Memphis.

Conley broke down in frustration at the meeting, Monday, saying he drove from Nashville thinking a representative from MPD would attend the meeting.

“From my understanding, at a minimum, C.J. Davis would be there and the lead or head of Homicide would be there,” he said.

Fox13 spoke with Bennie Cobb, our law enforcement analyst who said he worked for MPD for several years and retired from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department as a commander in the homicide division.

“Each family has an individual detective and some of these detectives have ten, twelve cases.  The homicides are happening so fast,” said Cobb.

Cobb said he feels MPD should have liaisons who deal with the concerns of families.

“The liaison does not have to be a police officer, does not have to be an investigator, but they have to be compassionate enough to know we absolutely need to keep the family in the loop,” said Cobb.

Cobb said if MPD Chief C.J. Davis couldn’t attend the meeting, he feels she should have sent a representative from her department.

“If I knew that this meeting was going to take place yesterday and being the police director, chief, whatever you want to call that person in authority, I would have made sure someone from my office was there,” said Cobb referring to MPD.

Fox13 Anchor Daniel Wilkerson reached out to MPD requesting a meeting with Chief Davis concerning the families’ concerns.  Fox13 was sent the following reply from MPD:

“Homicide investigators met with several victims’ family members recently concerning active homicide investigations. This is a common practice by the members of the Homicide Bureau. During this meeting, investigators were advised of a meeting where several family members of victims would be present. Due to the fact that investigators cannot openly discuss ongoing homicide cases in an open forum, the requestor was advised that investigators would not be present. However, investigators did offer to meet with any family members independently to provide updates and to discuss any concerns they may have relative to an ongoing investigation.

If any family member needs information concerning a case, they should contact the Homicide Bureau at 901-636-3300 and request to speak with a supervisor.”

Cobb encourages families to continue to be consistent with contacting MPD.

“I’d blow their phone(s) up. Not only would I be on the phone, (but) I would have my loved ones on the (phones) …  The police chief and the law enforcement …they have a boss and that’s the mayor,” said Cobb.