Memphis pastors, activists take a stand against violence

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Combating violence one apartment complex at a time is the goal of one Memphis activist as he teams up with Memphis Police Department to reduce crime at the city's most troubled complexes.

He's not the only activist taking a stand with MPD to combat crime.

"We want to make sure we're combating crime," said community activist Devante Hill.

Hill is one of many people working to make a difference in Memphis by making apartment complexes safer.

"In an effort to combat crime, we're assigning churches to these apartment complexes," Hill said.

MPD put together a list of the top 20 high-crime apartment complexes. Topping the list is the New Horizon Apartments with 141 incidents over a three-month period, according to police.

It's also the same complex where a 3-year-old boy was shot and killed earlier this month. His father was charged, yet he pleaded not guilty.

Hill said he's also planning a community event in September, including a revival and a community fair.

"Pastors assigned to that apartment complex will be responsible for bringing in 25 men and rehabilitating these men," Hill said.

"We must see a difference and we're demanding a change," said Bloomfield Baptist pastor Ralph White.

Pastor White is holding a separate meeting Monday evening to bring together the entire community and find ways to reduce crime.

This comes after 2-year Laylah Washington was shot and killed by someone as her mom drove down the street. In that case, no one has been charged.

"Some of those men who have committed those crimes they're going to have to pay for them but we're saying for them, 'we're there going to support you,'" Pastor White said.

His meeting will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at Bloomfield Baptist Church, and the entire community, including law enforcement and other pastors, are invited.

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