MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis’s new police chief CJ Davis visited a Whitehaven barbershop Tuesday, and workers say they were pleased to have her.
“People should be angry. Just like they marched when George Floyd got killed, you should be marching and angry about every Black kid that gets killed,” Davis said, “It’s hypocritical. A bullet is a bullet is a bullet.”
Owner Eric Massey didn’t expect Davis to walk through his door on just her second day on the job.
“She hit hard when she said that, made me think about ‘You’re right’,” Massey said, “We don’t even think about with the Black-on-Black crime.”
Tuesday’s chat is one of many Davis intends to have in the coming months. It continues an MPD initiative called “Clippers, Cops and Conversations”, an attempt to bridge the gap between police and the community. On that note, Davis made a pledge to weed out bad cops.
“If there are some people who don’t need to have this uniform on, you leave that to me and we’ll take care of that,” Davis said.
“She was trying to put her foot down right there letting us know she got our back,” Massey said.
Nineteen-year-old Mose Frazier is one of the barbers at Massey’s.
“Everything went good. Everybody was talking, interacting,” he said, “Talking, being real, not holding they tongue. It was a good conversation all around.”
Davis hopes candid conversations like that one will help Memphis curb the violence after a record number of homicides in 2020 and 115 murders already this year.
“We just doing a job,” Davis said, “We trying to protect the community.”
Massey says he asked Davis to come back to his barbershop and bring the officers who patrol the Whitehaven area with her. He says she told him it would be no problem.