FACT CHECK: Is Jeff Sessions telling the truth about Memphis crime?

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Memphis on Thursday pushing for tougher sentences for criminals and citing Memphis' rising crime rate as an example.

According to Sessions, the Bluff City saw a 43 percent increase in homicides in 2016. He added that Memphis was one of the cities in the nation seeing an uptick in violence.

"Last year, this city experienced a 43 percent increase in homicides and ended up with the highest number of murders ever," Sessions said.

So, is he telling the truth?


In 2016, Memphis experienced 67 more homicides than in 2015, which broke a record for the number of homicides in one year for the Bluff City.

So far this year, we are roughly on track to reach the same number of homicides and have seen a 4 percent increase in major crime, according to Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

"You commit a robbery, you threaten employees, there should be consequences," Sessions said.

Rallings said he welcomes help from the federal government.

"Our problems are gangs, guns, and drugs," said MPD Director Mike Rallings, who was one of many local officials to meet with Sessions.

Rallings said he would like to see more federal resources used to help combat crime.

"Commit the support of the federal government, to me, is a step in the right direction," he explained.

Sessions also mentioned the need for proper police staffing to help combat crime.

In addition, the AG called out Sycamore Lake Apartment complexes by name and pointed to them as a place where Memphians are living in fear. Do residents agree with him?


"Trying to get away, trying to be sure he [son] is in the house at all times," Xzavivra Chapman, mother at Sycamore Lake Apartments, said. "It's very scary for a parent."

The apartment complex is a place that has seen violent incidents in the last couple of years. Those incidents include two people shot and killed last week and an 81-year--old woman killed during a robbery.

"These aren't just numbers, these are people," Sessions said. "They are people like the residents at Sycamore Lake Apartments in northeast Memphis, last week two men were shot there."

Those living at the apartments said they live in fear and are just wanting to be safe.

"When I do come outside I am quickly getting to my car," Chapman said.

Chapman said she hopes things turn around in the Raleigh area and across Memphis so her family doesn't have to witness violence.

"Everyone is in the house, but when they come outside it's like somebody is dead or somebody is getting robbed," Chapman said.

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