MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The District Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday that it was finally taking action against the Peppertree apartments. The issues of safety and crime at the complex is something WREG has reported about for over ten years.
The public nuisance petition was granted as the property has been a major site for violence and drug trafficking over the past year.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, alongside Mayor Jim Strickland and Police Chief C. J. Davis, announced Tuesday during a press conference that the petition bans new leases at the apartments.
Peppertree’s current tenants will also not be allowed to renew their leases. Mayor Strickland said the Memphis Housing Authority will assist those residents who need to be relocated.
MPD Chief CJ Davis said the apartment comes up often in their weekly crime meeting due to the high number of calls. From March 2020 to October 2021, police responded to calls coming from the Peppertree apartments 1,649 times.
“Those calls included 120 for shootings, 216 involving guns, 40 calls for fights, 20 involving large gatherings of people, eight for drugs, eight for gambling, and six for robberies,” Weinrich said.
There have also been two murders and 53 aggravated assaults that were documented.
“A resident of a nearby Senior facility said residents often sleep on the floor to avoid being hit by stray bullets,” Weinrich said.
For those who live at the Pepper Tree apartments, Tuesday’s action couldn’t have come soon enough.
Back in September, the apartments went up in flames, causing some to lose everything they had. MFD said the apartments were intentionally set on fire.
“Our hearts break for the people that live there and feel they are literally and figuratively trapped,” Weinrich told WREG back in September.
With so much going on at the location, many residents wondered why and how the apartment complex could stay open, causing some to beg the apartment owners for answers.
The DA’s office issued nuisance action against the management company, TESCO, back in 2006. They were ordered to implement safety measures then.
WREG went to their Germantown office, but no one would come out and a receptionist hung up on us in the lobby.
“The owners of this property must know that we will hold them accountable for the safety of their residents and for nearby residents,” Mayor Strickland said.
A court hearing is set for Nov. 29 for the next steps regarding the complex.