NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – People in Memphis, Tennessee, sounded off on the city’s crime rate after a teacher was abducted and killed and after a gunman went on a livestreamed shooting spree.
“Right now the kids ain’t going to no community centers or nothing, learning anything,” Larry said. “Bunch of gangs got ‘em. They’re picking up guns, smoking weed.”
But another Memphis woman, Willette, said: “It’s like everywhere else to me, the crime rates, everything.”
“It’s still a safe place, you just got to watch your surroundings,” she continued. “I don’t care wherever you go, it’s bad. Not just Memphis.”
A gunman went on a shooting rampage in Memphis, killing four and injuring three others during a Facebook livestream on Sept. 8. Days earlier, Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher was abducted and killed. Memphis ex-con Cleotha Henderson was charged with first-degree murder and faces a slew of other charges related to the case.
One man told Fox News it was not safe “in the hood.”
“If you want to do better, you got to get out,” he told Fox News. “Some people just want to harm somebody or they want somebody to be on the same level they are.”
Another local, Ronald, said crime was “even worse than normal.”
“The last week or so, we’ve been a little bit extra,” Ronald said, referring to the Fletcher case and shooting spree.
Another Memphis woman told Fox News: “It’s really bad here. It’s gotten bad over the years. The crime is really high.”
Memphis, which faced a record 346 murders last year, saw major violent crimes increase 18% from 2019 to 2021, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation data. Violent crime did, however, drop 6% for the first half of 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021.
At least 16 U.S. cities set homicide records in 2021, according to local police departments. And 70 major police agencies reported year-over-year increases in violent crimes for the first six months of 2022.
“All cities are having a problem” with crime, one woman told Fox News.
“It’s not just a Memphis thing, it’s everywhere, everywhere you go,” she said. “So I still feel safe in the Memphis area.”