Police Chief CJ Davis addresses rash of youth gun violence in Memphis

Memphis, Tenn. — The number of children being killed in the city of Memphis is alarming to community leaders and top brass of the Memphis Police Department.

The concern grew again this week after police arrested two teen brothers in the shooting death of a 17-year-old. Police Chief CJ Davis said more needs to be and more will be done to protect our children from gun violence.

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Nearly two dozen children have been murdered so far this year in Memphis. It’s a stat Davis said the whole department is fighting to eliminate.

”Well, let me tell you, first of all our legal gun owners need to be responsible. And, when people think in terms of the children that are dying are not just conflict. There are people leaving guns unsecured. Many of the children that have died recently are two-year-olds, nine-year-olds. They got ahold of a weapon that was not secured,” Davis said.

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The latest child to die is 17-year-old Contario Sevion. Memphis Police arrested a 16-year-old and his 19-year-old brother Zavon Payne for the murder.

The 16-year-old, whose name police have not released, is accused of shooting and killing Sevion while he took trash to a dumpster behind his job at this East Memphis Five Guys.

”The other thing, we have young people that are involved in gang activity that are having beef with each other. The affinity and the use of guns and the value of life is a lot less than it should be,” Davis said.

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Davis repeatedly went back to Tennessee’s open carry law and the responsibility of gun owners.

”Unfortunately, we have laws in this state that make guns very easy for people to get their hands on. Everyone has a gun now. Leaving them in their vehicles unsecured,” Davis said.

Davis said 60 percent of the guns officers get off the street are stolen from gun owners who leave them in cars or unsecured.

The chief told me a good number of the children who have lost their lives this year could have been saved if guns would’ve been secured.

”Really, minor children, two-year-olds that found weapons. One under a mattress, another young child found a gun in their parent’s or grandparent’s purse,” Davis said.