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TN Politics: Reform-Minded Leaders Face Realities of Violent Crime

It's not just a sneaking suspicion; crime in Memphis is reaching historic levels. Recent high-profile crime victims include the Memphis Police Chief, whose gun was stolen from her car.

Last weekend, a shootout on Beale Streetin front of police officers has led to heightened security measures, which have been criticized in the past for being culturally insensitive.

Political analyst Otis Sanford says there is an undercurrent of anger in our community that is manifesting itself in more violent crimes, and people are tired of it.

In the wake of George Floyd, many Democrats began exploring more root-cause reforms, such as targeting poverty, the juvenile justice system or policing. But as the violence continues, especially among youth armed with stolen guns, many residents are hoping for more reactionary, immediate solutions, such as more police and longer jail terms.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.