CAC members want Mayor to help take back neighborhoods

Folks in one Mid-South community want Mayor Willie Herenton to help them take back their neighborhood.

Tuesday, there was a victory in Nashville. The Crooks with Guns passed. But Citizens Against Crimes they say this is just the beginning.

Just hours after the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Crooks with Guns Bill, members of Citizens Against Crime and Stop the Killing met with Mayor Willie Herenton to see how the new law can make a difference here in Memphis.

"One thing we are absolutely certain about is the mayor is as concerned about this as we are, that it is a huge priority for him," said Elizabeth Norman with Citizens Against Crime.

CAC formed after a neighbor was raped and robbed in her Chickasaw-area home.

Other groups joined them when they marched to Nashville last month after hearing Governor Bredesen might not fund the $23 million bill.

Stevie Moore with Stop the Killing added, "it's not a black thing, it's not a white thing, it's a crime thing and we as a community should come together as a whole."

The law adds another 3 to 10 years of mandatory prison time for crimes committed with a gun.

CAC says the suspects in the crime would have been behind bars if the law was already in place.

They call this a great start but they say crime prevention is next.

Norman added, "if can all really kind of put to rest, put race issues aside of any kind and say we have to do what's best for the children, then we'll have solutions."

"You have a voice and use it. I encourage every citizen to take back their streets, take back their neighborhoods," added Mia Henley.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says citizen involvement made all the difference in making the crime package fly.

The governor has signed the bill into law. However, lawmakers did not pass the portion of the crime package that would add time for aggravated rape.

CAC says they'll lobby for that in the future.

Marchello Hurst and Elroy Cobbins are charged with rape and robbery for that Chickasaw Gardens area crime.

Investigators say Hurst and Cobbins separated a woman and her son. Police say the pair robbed the woman, beat her and sexually assaulted her.


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