Memphians Furious Over Mayor Young’s Response to I-40 Bridge Shutdown

by | Feb 4, 2024 | Local News

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Memphis Mayor Paul Young is facing the fury of citizens just one day after a mob of protesters were allowed to shut down the Interstate 40 bridge stranding thousands of motorists for hours. At least one woman had to be air-lifted to a hospital from the Arkansas side of the river because first responders were stuck in traffic.

The traffic gridlock was even more exacerbated by the closure of the I-55 bridge due to previously-scheduled maintenance.

Memphis Police said no one was arrested or charged, even though it’s a crime to block streets and bridges.

Young praised police for their handling of the crisis.

“I would like to thank MPD, TN Highway Patrol, Shelby County Sheriff’s office, and our Arkansas law enforcement partners for responding together to ensure a peaceful and quick resolution and to restore traffic flow,” he said.


Motorists were trapped for hours in a miles-long backup that extended past Marion.

“My concern is for the safety of all of our residents – the danger of protesting on any active street or bridge is real. I support peaceful protests in safe spaces,” the mayor said.

Many are wondering who gave orders for the police to stand down after the marchers left City Hall and took to the streets. Why were the protesters allowed on the bridge in the first place? And who gave orders to release the protesters without charges being filed?

“Empty words from an empty suit,” said one angry resident. “If he was a mayor that was truly in touch, he would absolutely know who gave the order not to arrest.”

“He was AWOL and is now kicking his failure down stream onto to other inept subordinates,” said another listener. “I bet if someone had plowed through the criminal mob, blocking the interstate bridge, he and every other gas lit politician would have been off their couch in record time.”

Sen. Brent Taylor, a Republican, took immediate action once he heard about the bridge incident. He personally called the head of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and asked him to send more troopers.

“This is a dangerous situation for those with medical emergencies,” Taylor told KWAM on Saturday. “We must restore law and order in our community.”

Taylor also introduced a bill that would make blocking a roadway a felony crime.

“Blocking the I-40 bridge is dangerous and has negative consequences on our economy and keeps our first responders from responding to emergencies,” the senator told KWAM.

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