MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After a string of violence involving youth in Memphis, community leaders are calling for change.
Frustrations are growing for many across the community. At least six teens have been shot over the last couple days.
After another wave of crimes involving youth, the community is nearing its breaking point.
The recent spike in violence has kept organizations like “Ride of Tears” busy. Typically, they host mock demonstrations, spreading awareness of the impact of violence, but have had to push those back.
“You know, our hands are full and they’re not looking at the fact that these parents are suffering losing these babies. The kids are our future. If you go kill all of them, what future we gonna have?” Kenny Lee, Vice President of Ride of Tears said.
Nearly 80 children are locked up at Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center, an increase over the last few months. Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael says it is a troubling trend.
“This is a community issue. I need individuals. I need corporations and churches. I need everybody,” Judge Michael said.
Judge Michael said their mission is to rehabilitate youth who come through the system. He believes the majority of them walk away changed but help at home is needed.
“These children come from households that are dysfunctional. A lot of these children had been in and out of foster care. They’ve been in trouble or they’ve been abused and neglected as young children,” Michael said.
In recent weeks, there has been criticism about youth not facing harsh enough punishment. Michael says it’s determined on a case-by-case basis.
Next month, a community walk is being held against gun violence. It’s just one of the many events that are planned to draw attention to this troubling trend.