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Statement from Mayor Strickland

Statement from Mayor Strickland

I want to first, express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families who are suffering from this senseless murder rampage.  I’m angry  for them, and I’m angry that our citizens had to shelter in place for their own safety until the suspect was caught.  This is no way for us to live and it is not acceptable.

The people of our city were confronted with the type of violence no one should have to face.   Ezekiel Kelly was charged with criminal attempted first degree murder but pled guilty in April of 2021 to the lesser charge of aggravated assault.  He was sentenced to 3 years, but only served 11 months and was released on March 16, 2022 – less than 6 months ago.

These evil actions show why truth in sentencing is a must, and we should do all we can to make our city safe.  We should not be terrorized by anyone who wants to strike fear in our hearts and take away what we love about Memphis.  We must unite around this principle and stand up to the challenge of violent crime in our city. 

If Mr. Kelly served his full 3-year sentence, he would still be in prison today and 4 of our fellow citizens would still be alive.

Thank you state legislature, led by speaker Sexton and Lt. Gov. McNally, for passing truth in sentencing. From now on, 3 years for Aggravated Assault means 3 years.

Our judicial system is too often a revolving door.  A citizen emailed me today- “until/unless there are real consequences for criminal behavior, it will continue.”

I agree 100%.  We need the courts and additional state laws to stop this revolving door and I need the public to make their voices heard by those decision makers.

I want to thank the Men and Women of our Memphis Police Department, and all the supporting law enforcement agencies who supported in capturing the suspect tonight, and aided in the search for Liza Fletcher earlier this week.

This has been a painful week in our city, but I have hope for Memphis, I have love for Memphis, I know that united …..we will endure.