Memphis Mayor Bends the Knee to Gang Leaders

Daylight! Hangover! #facepalm

We're all used to Democrats' soft-on-crime policies by now, but Memphis Mayor Paul Young is taking that approach to new and ridiculous extremes. Young is proudly touting a recent sitdown with gang leaders in the city, which he says has resulted in a "truce" so long as the city gives in to their demands. 


Amazingly, Young didn't respond to those demands with one of his own; quit shooting or we'll send you to prison for as long as we can. No, he's apparently willing to bend the knee to criminal organizations so long as they promise to put their guns down for a few days.

Young opened up about his meeting with Memphis gangsters during a panel discussion Monday night about youth workforce development at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. The mayor said gang members told him they want good-paying jobs and the training needed to get those jobs. 

“My ask for them in that conversation,” Young said, “was can we get a seven-day ceasefire? Just seven days where there’s no shooting no killing? And they said, ‘Yeah, we would be willing to do that,’ and they gave me a couple of caveats.”

Young said the gangs wanted assurances their enemies would agree to the ceasefire.

“The other thing they said was, ‘Well, you know, our young guys, they need money,’” said the mayor, “They need money in their pockets. That’s the way you can change it.”

Gang members, said Young, want good jobs, and the upskilling needed to get them. 


”They said, ‘We don’t have programs at our community centers,’” Mayor Young told the crowd, “‘We don’t have things to do, so we go out and we steal cars, and we ride around with our friends.’”


So what is it? Are gang members robbing hard-working folks because they can't get a good job or because they're bored? More importantly, what about those who are living in poverty who aren't shooting up the city, carjacking innocent victims, and invading homes

If you're a regular reader here at Bearing Arms, you know I support programs like Operation Ceasefire that offer gang members and those at high-risk of becoming both a perpetrator and a victim of violent crime a way out. But Operation Ceasefire isn't a carrot-only approach like the one that Young has adopted. It promises stiff sentences and no plea deals for those who refuse to stop shooting, while Young didn't mention anything about putting these gang members behind bars if they continue their lawless ways.

Mayor Young said gang leaders also encouraged him to get out in the city's underserved communities, saying a boots-on-the-ground approach is the best way to create positive change. 

"[They said,] ‘If you come to our hood, if you come over there and ask them to put the guns down, they will do it because they've never seen anyone like you in our community,’” said Mayor Young.  

Oh, that's all it takes? Does the mayor need to say "pretty please" too, or is a simple "put down the guns" all that's needed? 


Young has only been in office a couple of months, but honestly, if this is his crime-fighting strategy the good people of Memphis need to launch a recall campaign. Elected officials shouldn't be sitting down with gang leaders and asking them what they need to stop shooting. Who's actually in charge of Memphis these days? Doesn't sound like it's the mayor, who's abdicating his authority and handing it over to the very people who are responsible for making the city a more dangerous place. Young's sitdown is an appalling act of cowardice when what Memphis needs is strong leadership, and residents should be terrified that he's basing his public safety strategy on the empty promises of gang leaders.  

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