Day 1 in '30 days no killing' decree
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - While speaking with protesters Sunday night, Memphis Police Department Interim Director Mike Rallings called for a 30-day moratorium on killing.
"If y'all want to show me something, show me 30 days," Rallings said.
"Black Lives Matter" protesters shut down the Interstate 40 bridge for several hours. Nobody was arrested or injured during the protest.
Rallings went to the I-40 bridge protest in person where he and other officers joined arm-in-arm with protesters to march off the bridge.
"We ain't pepper prayed nobody; we ain't deployed gas. That's the way it should be. I just wanted--come off the bridge, let's come to a place where we can talk, where we can have a dialog," Rallings said.
Rallings and the protesters moved to FedExForum. They discussed changes that could be made and together, they prayed for the Memphis community.
After the prayer, Rallings said he wanted to see Memphis go 30 days without senseless killings.
"I think we have to show restraint. We can easily resort to violence, so I'm asking our city to be less violent. We have to set the example," Rallings said. "I'm going to ask everyone, if you know someone, I want you to talk to those individuals and ask for 30 days of no killing. Senseless killing."
So far in 2016, Memphis has seen 120 homicides--it's a number that gives the city one of the highest per capita homicide rates in America.
Protesters agreed with the interim police director.
"When you feel like you need to pull the trigger, think, 'I'm messing my community up,'" one protester said. "When you feel like you need to stab him, think I'm messing my community."
Rallings hopes the high-profile nature of Sunday's protest, combined with his department and City of Memphis working together with protesters, will help reduce the violence happening in Memphis.
"We're tired of the system killing us, so if we can show them how were not going to kill ourselves, there is no other excuse," Gregory Thompson said.
Thompson, who has been protesting in front of FedExForum since Friday, felt hopeful Sunday night and hopes Memphis can live up to its end of the deal.
"I hope we go 60. I hope we go 90. I hope it goes as long as it can," he said.
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