City leaders call for end to 'senseless' murders - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City leaders call for end to 'senseless' murders

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

The City of Memphis has experienced 187 homicides in 2016, and police leaders are showing frustration over the lack of value being placed on people’s lives.

"Here's how you know how important life is today: because a mother ran from her car, you know, and almost fainted because she was in shock because she had lost her loved one,” MPD Colonel James Kirkwood said.

Kirkwood is referring to the mother of an 18-year-old who died in front of a fire station. He was shot a few blocks away.

"They said it was a gambling incident, and someone owed somebody some money,” family friend Carl Piggie said. “Someone owed somebody like $500."

Piggie said the loss of life over money is senseless.

It’s the senseless killings Kirkwood said need to be stopped. Doing so will mean placing value on human lives.

"We've got to begin to talk about how valuable life is, and how important it is that you stay around, that you live long--so you'll be there for your family--that you support your children,” Kirkwood said.

MPD Director Mike Rallings has talked about changing people’s hearts and minds since he first took the job. He said that change starts with family and continues in church and school.

"It exasperates me when I see anything that does not make sense,” Rallings said.

Kirkwood asked the community to join him in praying for the family of the victim in Thursday’s homicide, and said everyone must play a role in preventing more mothers from going through moments like this.

"Have some real, serious conversations with our young men and young women about gun violence and how important life is,” he said.

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