Downtown Memphis residents talk about safety after livestream shooting, murder of Eliza Fletcher

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People in Memphis, Tennessee, have been ringing in the city’s crime rates after a teacher was kidnapped and murdered and after a gunman engaged in a live-streamed shooting.

“Right now the kids aren’t going to community centers or anything to learn anything,” Larry said. “A bunch of gangs have them. They grab guns and smoke weed.’

But another Memphis woman, Willette, said, “It’s like everywhere to me, the crime rates, everything.”

Ronald said he thought crime in Memphis was worse than usual lately.
(TBEN News digital)

It’s still a safe place, you just have to watch your surroundings,” she continued. “I don’t care where you go, it’s bad. Not just Memphis.”

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A gunman went on a shooting spree in Memphis, killing four and injuring three others during a Facebook live stream on Sept. 8. Days earlier, Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher was kidnapped and murdered. Memphis ex-con Cleotha Henderson was charged with first degree murder and is facing a slew of other charges related to the case.

A man told TBEN News it was not safe “in the hood”.

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“If you want to do better, you have to get out,” he told TBEN News. “Some people just want to hurt someone or they want someone to be on the same level as them.”

Another resident, Ronald, said the crime was “even worse than usual.”

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“The last week or so we’ve been a little extra,” Ronald said, referring to the Fletcher case and shooting.

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A lifelong Memphis resident said the Memphis hood was not a safe place to be.

A lifelong Memphis resident said the Memphis hood was not a safe place to be.
(TBEN News digital)

Another woman from Memphis told TBEN News, “It’s really bad here. It’s gotten really bad over the years. The crime is very high.”

Memphis, which suffered a record 346 homicides last year, saw a 18% increase in major violent crime between 2019 and 2021, according to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Violent crime has decreased by 6% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

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According to local law enforcement, at least 16 U.S. cities set homicide records in 2021. And 70 major law enforcement agencies reported year-over-year increases in violent crime for the first six months of 2022.

Willette, a resident of Memphis, said she thought the city was just as bad as any other metropolis facing an increase in crime.

Willette, a resident of Memphis, said she thought the city was just as bad as any other metropolis facing an increase in crime.
(TBEN News digital)

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“All cities have a problem” with crime, one woman told TBEN News.

“It’s not just something in Memphis, it’s everywhere, wherever you go,” she said. “So I still feel safe in the Memphis area.”

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