Mayor calls on parents, community, and state to help combat gun violence in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is calling on parents, the community, and the state to step it up when it comes to combatting gun violence.

He is frustrated about the recent shootings involving young people in our area, specifically the one at Cummings K-8 School last week.

“Government cannot be the parent,” Mayor Strickland said. “Parents have to step up and do something, follow their kids. I’m tired of this sh*t.”

Mayor Strickland is frustrated over how the community always places the blame for gun violence on the City.

He said others need to be held accountable too, like the state, county, and parents in the community.

“The best way is for entities other than the City to do something. We had a 13-year-old take a gun to school. Where’s the parent? Where’s the family?” Strickland asked.

Strickland said the City of Memphis is a few months into its group violence intervention program.

RELATED: Councilman says new violence intervention program will reduce Memphis murder rate by 10%

It’s a program of 25 violence interrupters who will get trained, then go into the community to offer young people help with housing, job training, jobs, and more.

He said they are also using millions of dollars in federal money to fund Boys and Girls Club programs at ten schools.

RELATED: City council approves $9 million program for 10 schools to work with Boys and Girls Club

“Do they reach the children in the hood? The children in the hood don’t have transportation to get to the Boys and Girls Club. The children in the hood don’t have education. Their parents don’t have education to know where to send them,” said activist Stevie Moore.

Moore supports nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club but wants to see more resource centers in the community.

Other activists like LJ Abraham argue Mayor Strickland needs to take accountability for his actions and give less funding to the police department and more funding to other programs instead.

“We know these neighborhoods are lacking the resources we need, and the City is cautiously being funded, and the money could go elsewhere, but he wants to give it to the police,” said Abraham.

Overall, both the activists and Mayor Strickland agree more community involvement is needed to prevent gun violence.

“I’m not saying anything we all don’t know. Gun violence is too prevalent, guns are too prevalent, and the penalties are too weak,” Strickland said.

Mayor Strickland said his group violence intervention program would take about a year before we see positive effects from it.