Walk to Stop the Violence – Updated

Ed. Note: Annesdale-Snowden neighborhood and contact phone numbers added below. Thanks for participating!

Neighborhoods are not islands. They do not exist on their own, unaffected by their surroundings. Neighborhoods are a part of the community at large, both independent, and connected to the city, county, and bordering municipalities that make up the greater community.

This is particularly true in Memphis, where we are surrounded by both cities in Shelby Co., Tipton Co. and Fayette Co. in TN, as well as those in De Soto Co., MS, and across the river in AR. Like it or not, we are a community that makes up “Greater Memphis”, and what affects us here in the incorporated areas of Memphis, also affects those in the surrounding neighborhoods and communities.

In the past month there have been several instances of gun violence in my neighborhood. Gun violence doesn’t have to involve actually shooting the firearm. More often than not, it involves merely wielding, threatening citizens with injury or worse. The MPD reports that gun violence is down 10.5% in Memphis. In my quiet neighborhood, it’s WAY up.

In response to the rise of gun violence in my neighborhood, a group has emerged to bring circumstance this to light.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 5:30, people will meet just two blocks from my house to address the instances of gun violence in my neighborhood. Below is an account of violent acts in and around my neighborhood in the past month as reported by the Commercial Appeal

–Reginald Epps, 20, Brandon Johnson, 18, and Gabrerial Perry, 20, are believed responsible for eight armed robberies in the area between March 18 and March 21.
–Terrance Craft, 19, and Derwin Seals, 16, are believed responsible for another string of armed robberies between March 27 and April 9.
–Michael Neil Krauss, 42, was shot to death near Cox and Harbert after he ran from a man during a robbery attempt April 4. The gunman is still at large.

The agenda for the event is as follows:

5:30pm-6pm: Congregate at Cooper & Harbert to paint signs. Walk to crime scene #1 at Harbert & Cox.
6:15pm-6:30pm: Talks and remembrances. Walk to crime scene #2 at Cowden & Tanglewood.
6:45pm-7pm: Talks and remembrances. Walk to Peabody Park for entertainment and refreshments.

Representatives from the City Council, State Legislature, Police, Clergy, and friends & family have been invited to speak.

This event is supported by your local neighborhood associations – Central Gardens, Cooper-Young, Annesdale-Snowden and Idlewild.

You can sign up to attend at a Facebook page here

The problem of violent crime is not isolated to certain areas of the city. Violent crime in my neighborhood is JUST AS HORRIFIC as violent crime anywhere else in the City, County, or Metro area. We, as a community, need to come together to address all the issues that affect all of our neighborhoods in a comprehensive way. I hope this event will serve as one small step in that direction.

Come join us.

For more information please call Richard O’Brien at 292-357.

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