Mayor Strickland releases candid video on violence in Memphis

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 2:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:02 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland spoke out about violent crime in Memphis, shared what the City’s doing to address it and explained why criminals often end up back on the streets.

In a nine-minute video produced by the City of Memphis, Strickland spoke candidly about the pandemic of violence threatening the city.

“In my five and half years as Mayor, working to solve the problem of violent crime has been the hardest and most challenging obstacle I’ve faced,” Strickland said. “Each time I hear of another person shot and killed it makes me angry at the shooter and breaks my heart for the friends and families of the victim. I have spoken with many of those family members, and I want you to know that I feel a personal responsibility to help stop this violence.”

The mayor mentioned the recent murder of 7-year-old Kelby Shorty, who was shot and killed while watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Strickland says one of the suspects in the case was connected to a previous killing in December 2019.

“He was out of jail and not in custody in just a year and a half after he murdered someone. This is unacceptable,” said Strickland.

Strickland says there are far too many examples of suspects caught by the police and later released by the courts.

He says the city will work with public and private partners to fix this flaw in the system.

The mayor also outlined ways the city is working to reduce violence now, including funding the Group Violence Intervention Program.

Strickland says along with that, his five-point plan to address violence includes rebuilding Memphis Police Department, positively affecting young people, reducing recidivism, increasing economic opportunity and punishing violent offenders.

Strickland said there are numerous ways for citizens to do their part.

“Parents and families have the biggest impact on a young person,” said Strickland. “Please know where your children are and who they are hanging out with.”

Strickland says citizens can also secure their guns to prevent them from being stolen and used in crimes.

He also suggested they volunteer their time to help children learn to read.

Small steps, he says, that could make a big difference.

Strickland says his administration will have more updates about what they are doing to address crime in the weeks ahead.

To read the mayor’s full statement, visit

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