Groups gather to discuss making Downtown Memphis safe again

Groups gather to discuss making Downtown Memphis safe again

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A recent shooting in Downtown Memphis on Riverside Drive has residents, business owners, law enforcement, and council members looking for ways to make the area safe again.

Riverfront Development Corporation and Downtown Memphis Commission met Wednesday to talk about the safety concerns.

"We know where the problems are, we just need to find solutions," Rebecca Thomason, Southern Creed, said.

Thomason owns Southern Creed, a business on South Main Street, and said solutions are needed.

She returned to Memphis after years away and fears despite Downtown Memphis' momentum, crime on the weekend at Tom Lee Park could be its downfall.

"I think that Memphis is better than it's been in a long time, and I think that it's sad to see things like this happening because it's really on the upswing. But I don't know how it's going to get fixed," Thomason said.

MPD Director Mike Rallings said his department has increased patrols.

"Make sure we have adequate staffing, make sure we are leveraging our technology," Rallings said.

However, even with officers in the park Sunday, the shooting still happened.

"I did see police everywhere, but I don't think that's enough to keep people from making bad decisions," Thomason said.

South Main boutique manager Vera Stanfield hopes the bad decisions will not hurt their business.

"A lot of our business depends on people stopping by," Stanfield said. "It could negatively impact all of the investments that are being made in this area."

Two teenage brothers were arrested in connection with the shooting.

Branden Gray, 18, is charged with aggravated assault and tampering with evidence.

His brother, a 17-year-old, was charged with aggravated assault. The teen was also shot during the altercation.

Gray is out on bond and his next court date is scheduled for May 4.

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