Memphis' 93 homicides in 2010 lowest since 1971 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis' 93 homicides in 2010 lowest since 1971

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - According to city officials, the City of Memphis saw the fewest criminal homicides last year since the 1970s.

There were 42 fewer criminal homicides in 2010 than in 2009.  There were still 93 people killed by crimes ranging from vehicular homicide to murder.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said the homicide rate was the lowest since 1971.  Also, for the first time since 1978, there were fewer than 100 murders in Memphis.

"The last time we were able to say that was 1971," said Wharton.  "Just think about that."

The final homicide of the year happened Thursday at an Exxon station at Walnut Grove and Tillman.  When police arrived, 22-year-old Ibrahim Isaq had what appeared to be a gunshot wound and was already dead.

Police have a suspect in Isaq's murder, but no one has been charged.

Wharton said at Saturday's annual prayer breakfast that even one murder is too many.

"While we talk about numbers, we know that each of those numbers are backed up by people who still hurt," said Wharton.  "This is why we want you to know, while we're proud of what we've done, we know there is still a long way to go."

Linda James is among those who still hurt.  Her sister, Sony Millbrook, was murdered last January.  Her body was later found under a motel bed.

"She'd be here with her kids," James said of her sister.

Evette Porter was the best friend of Taffi Crawford.  A Memphis firefighter was charged with shooting and killing Crawford, his ex-girlfriend, in the parking lot of Delta Medical Center in February.

"Some days are sad," Porter said at a vigil for Crawford.

One of the victims, Saniiyah Kuykendall, was only two years old.  Police said the child's mother's boyfriend killed the toddler with a shoe after she soiled herself.

Another victim, 28-year-old Marquez Rainey, was a security guard at Southland Mall.  He was trying to break up a fight between two men when police said one of the men shot and killed him.

"Why did he have to take his life?" said Rainey's mother, Margiee Brownlee.  "Why did he have to take my son?"

Just last month, another mother was in the same kind of pain.  Brenda Randle's son, Anthony Randle, was shot to death outside a grocery store.

"I've been crying and crying because I ain't never going to see my son again," she said.

Wharton led a moment of silence to remember the lives lost to crime.  He said lasting change in the crime rate starts with children.

Wharton said he hopes to work more closely with juvenile court to keep teens out of the adult system.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin was overall crime was also down in 2010.  He credited Blue Crush, the hard-working men and women in his department and community support.

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