Community prayer service focuses on violent crime

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:47 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been one week since rapper Young Dolph was gunned down at a South Memphis cookie shop.

The high-profile incident highlighted the city’s ongoing gun violence problem.

Tuesday night a group of area pastors gathered to pray for spiritual healing in this city.

As the city is dealing with increased violent crimes that have put the city on edge.

“There are issues that make it hard especially around the holidays for families to be out in public. You worry about what’s going on when people are congregating in places,” said Carlos Bibbs who attended the event.

As of Nov. 23, Memphis Police says there have been 262 murders so far this year that’s outpacing 2020′s record-breaking year.

“When we talk about tragedy at some point the community has to heal and me being a person of faith and in Memphis, there’s almost a church on every street. I think healing for us begins with prayer,” said Memphis city councilmember JB Smiley who organized Tuesday’s community prayer event at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church which is located just a couple of miles from a growing memorial dedicated to rapper Young Dolph.

The brazen shooting has some people asking how the city will respond to growing violence.

“We’re hiring police officers, we’re pushing for stiffer sentencing, our problem, our challenge is state law is weak,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland last week.

However Smiley says while legislation is an issue there is a bigger issue at hand.

“We can increase the number of officers, but until we make a decisive change in this community that we’re going to do better and when I mean we everyone from the young people on up, we have to make a conscious decision to lay down our guns to resolve conflict in a reasonable fashion,” said Smiley.

Police still need your help in solving the Young Dolph case and a slew of other unsolved homicides in this city.

Your tip could help, call 901-528-CASH.

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