Residents questions effectiveness of 'Memphis Gun Down' initiati - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Residents questions effectiveness of 'Memphis Gun Down' initiative

Posted: Updated:
At the conference, Wharton will share the success of the Memphis Gun Down initiative. At the conference, Wharton will share the success of the Memphis Gun Down initiative.
A C Wharton says he takes the lives of the young men to heart because he is a father and grandfather. A C Wharton says he takes the lives of the young men to heart because he is a father and grandfather.
But residents living in the targeted areas for the Memphis Gun Down program—a plan implemented to reduce violence—question whether it is actually worki But residents living in the targeted areas for the Memphis Gun Down program—a plan implemented to reduce violence—question whether it is actually worki

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis mayor took part in the Cities United Conference in an effort with other city leaders to reduce violence-related deaths of black men.

A C Wharton says he takes the lives of the young men to heart because he is a father and grandfather. He says he was devastated when Director Toney Armstrong called him Tuesday morning regarding another teenager killed by gun violence.

"Two black boys' lives ruined with a .357 magnum. This stuff is real," said Wharton.

He compares the violence to a health pandemic.

"Two or three people die from the bird flu, we declare a national emergency. We got black boys dying by the dozens and nobody's said, 'Houston, we have a problem," he said."You've gotta go in tough. Take back the territory and then go in and start rebuilding."

At the conference in New Orleans, Wharton shared the success of the Memphis Gun Down initiative.

But residents living in the targeted areas for the Memphis Gun Down program—a plan implemented to reduce violence—question whether it is actually working.

Wharton says the plan is working in Frayser and South Memphis.

"We've seen reductions to 13 percent up to 20 percent," he said. "We targeted two areas. Now we're seeking to spread it across the city."

Residents living in the area are not so sure.

"I mean you're even afraid to go outside. You have to stay locked up in your own house. It's just awful out here," said resident Catherine Gray. "I don't think it's working. It's terrible."

Her husband Alfred say residents on their street still live in fear.

"Every other night you hear some shooting," he said.

Lucille Johnson says she feels safer because of the program and police presence.

"I just see them riding around a lot on corners and stuff. They have surveillance around ," she said.

Wharton says Memphis police continue to take a tougher approach. Click here to read more about the Memphis Gun Down initiative: http://memphisgundown.org/.

Get the latest from Action News 5 anytime: iPhone | iPad | Android | SMS Alerts | Email Alerts | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow