• Three years after massive protest shut down I-40, community leaders still working for change

    By: Jeremy Pierre


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Wednesday marked the third anniversary of the massive I-40 bridge protest that shut down Interstate-40 in both directions for hours. 

    Leaders of the protest demanded criminal justice reform and community policing to improve. 

    July 10, 2016 – when thousands of people physically stopped traffic on I-40 – is what many may call revolutionary. 

    "We have had more suspicion and more skepticism from the community than we have had an alleviation,” Dr. Earle Fisher said. 

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    Fisher is one of the community leaders who happened to be on the bridge that night. 

    The bridge takeover came after several officer-involved shootings around the country. At that time, people in Memphis still mourned the police shooting death of Darrius Stewart.

    Fisher said the bridge protest brought many issues with community policing to light. 

    “Not only have we had six police-involved shootings since 2016, we still have had zero indictments of police officers since the district attorney that is in office has been in office,” Fisher said. 

    Fisher said many conversations have taken place between the city and community leaders since that day. 

    “We have had promises from administrators to get to the bottom of situations,” Fisher said. 

    Fisher told FOX13 the bridge protest happened to be the event that got people’s attention, but much of the hard work continues three years later. 

    “That’s not to suggest nobody is trying anything, but clearly we aren't trying the right thing. So, we stand ready to talk to, work with, and continue to challenge the people who are in power,” Fisher said. 

    FOX13 reached out to Mayor Jim Strickland’s office for comment about the progress made in the last three years, but he has not yet responded.

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