MPD director: 'We've had a horrible weekend in our city' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD director: 'We've had a horrible weekend in our city'

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong spoke about the recent violence that killed a 7-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl, and injured a 17-year-old boy.

Kirsten Williams, 7, died after being shot while playing in a neighbor's front yard on Friday afternoon. Earlier that same morning, Cateria Stokes, 15, was shot in the head while sleeping in her bed. 

Both girls died as the result of drive-by shootings. 

A 17-year-old was shot in Tom Lee Park on Sunday night. Two others were also injured in that shooting.

Director Armstrong said the violent weekend overshadows statistics that suggest crime is actually down in Memphis.

"I can't downplay the fact that we've had a horrible weekend in our city, and if I could change it, I certainly would," Armstrong said.

Latarsha Carter has two kids and lives near Stokes. She wants police officers to do more.

"I didn't have any idea that when I moved here three years ago, that it would be so much killing here," she said.

What is being done to make sure more families don't victim victims?

"I'm always looking at changing things," Armstrong said. "Literally, on a day-to-day basis, we look at ways we can get better."

Armstrong said he is pushing for tougher gun laws and hopes to possibly add more officers to prevent crime.

"We feel like our crime fighting efforts have been effective this year," Armstrong added. "But, unfortunately, you have a couple of incidents like this where you have senseless violence."

Armstrong says city stats show that crime is actually down 6 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. He admits, though, that he and the police force can still do more.

"I won't ever stand here and say that we're doing enough or we have enough," he said.

In the meantime, parents like Latarsha Cater are living in fear, hoping for change.

"They need to get it together down here, for real," she said. "Or I'm going to have to go back home to Mississippi, because I can't deal with this."

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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