City council members respond to recent attacks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City council members respond to recent attacks

Some council members are second guessing the administration in the wake of the recent Kroger attack. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Some council members are second guessing the administration in the wake of the recent Kroger attack. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - It did not take long for some Memphis City Council members to second guess the administration in the wake of the recent Kroger attack.

"I was really taken aback when I saw the video," said council chairman Jim Strickland.

Strickland is Kroger customer who shops at the Poplar Plaza location where the mob attack was caught on camera.

"The callous disregard for a fellow human being is really shocking," added Strickland. "We really need the mayor to have fewer press conferences and roundtable discussions and more actions and results."

Strickland said violent crime rose 9 percent in the last three years. He blames a scaled back "Blue Crush," the aggressive crime-fighting initiative shuttered under the Wharton administration.

"There are things the government can do that we simply aren't doing," said council member Wanda Halbert.
     
Youth intervention is among Halbert's concerns. She'd like to fully restore the summer jobs and other programs that have been altered.

"There were a lot of programs and resources that were offered by the city of Memphis," noted Halbert. "I am a recipient of those programs, but we've taken those programs out of the communities."

Both Halbert and Strickland agree that parents play a big role in preventing shocking scenes like the one outside Kroger. However, they don't play the only role.

"You have to start off with aggressive policing," said Strickland. "And I don't think the mayor's been doing that for three years."

Councilman Harold Collins weighed in on Twitter. He stated that we need alternatives for youth and prosecution for parents, if need be.

"But the number one person who needs to accept responsibility is the young people themselves," said Halbert. "Because we all know the difference between right and wrong."

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