‘My City Is Under Siege’: Senator Calls on Gov. Lee to Help Solve Crime

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State Sen. Brent Taylor is calling on Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) to help Memphis fight its growing crime problem.

In a letter released Wednesday, Sen. Taylor asked the Republican governor to intervene and help a city in crisis.

Read the full letter below: 

Dear Governor Lee,It is an honor to serve East Shelby County in the Tennessee Senate, so I make this appeal to you as someone who built my family and my career in Tennessee’s beloved City of Memphis.
My city is under siege. Just this past weekend, Dr. Alexander Bulakhov, a post-doctoral staffer at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, was murdered during a botched robbery while his family watched in horror. Between Friday and Sunday, there were six additional shootings, four smash-and-grab incidents of convenient stores, a FedEx tractor-trailer truck was forced to a complete stop in traffic while a group of thieves looted the trailer, and a marauding band of young people blocked the interstate to use their vehicles to “spin-out.” During this last spectacle, passengers of these “spin-out” vehicles hung from open car windows brandishing firearms in front of terrorized motorists. Multiple videos made viral on social media evidence this type of activity being done in front of police cruisers to taunt law enforcement. The examples listed are just a few of the brazen criminal activities occurring in Memphis leaving law-abiding citizens in terror. Please find attached a Crime Analysis from the Memphis Police Department for the period of November 10 – 12.
Many of my constituents are calling for deployment of the National Guard. The Guard is not a law enforcement agency, however. Many people associate the Guard with lawlessness because of their deployment during natural disasters and civil unrest. As you know, the National Guard serves more as a deterrent to criminal activity in small, localized areas of a city like a downtown area. Moreover, criminal arrests, ensuring defendants are aware of their Miranda Rights, processing of evidence, etc. should be left to full-time professional law enforcement agencies. The National Guard is relatively untrained in these important aspects of criminal arrests. Unfortunately, the effects of criminal behavior have infected every neighborhood of a city that encompasses 225 square miles. The sheer magnitude of the issue and the sheer size of the city render such a deployment of the National Guard ineffective.
However, there are several reasonable actions I am respectfully asking you to consider assisting my county that is currently paralyzed in fear:
• I am requesting unannounced, periodic THP “surges” to the Memphis interstates (like the 240 loop) and state routes to increase the presence of law enforcement. This would be in addition to current THP patrols.
• I am requesting the creation of a “monitoring team” to disclose to the public the number of crimes committed, arrests made, prosecutions, and convictions of crimes committed. Memphians have a right to know this information so data from the local prosecutors and judicial system may be challenged or validated.
• I am requesting support of Republican efforts in the General Assembly to hold our local prosecutors, judicial system, and criminals accountable.
I am happy to meet with you to discuss ways to assist Memphis and Shelby County in solving the very dangerous situation we now find ourselves. Memphis needs help to save it from future ruin. The State of Tennessee cannot be successful if its most famous city is not successful.
As always, I appreciate your service to our great state and look forward to working with you in the upcoming session.

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