State Senator Brent Taylor Sets Up Crime Victim Hotline to Gather Complaints Against Shelby County DA Steve Mulroy

Brent Taylor and Steve Mulroy

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) announced Monday that his office has set up a hotline for crime victims and current or former staff members of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to gather complaints against District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

Last week, Taylor announced that he intends to file a Senate Joint Resolution immediately following the November election requiring the removal of Mulroy.

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Shelby County District Attorney Drops Diversion Plan for Felons in Possession of Firearms When Threatened to Be Removed from Office

Steve Mulroy and Brent Taylor

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy announced his office would not pursue a previous diversion plan for felons in possession of firearms after Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) said that he intends to file a Senate Joint Resolution immediately following the November election requiring the removal of Mulroy.

Last week, Mulroy announced that his office was considering an “alternative approach” for felons charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by offering diversion to such defendants.

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Judge Sets August Trial Date for Embattled Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert, Denies Motion to Dismiss

Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert

A trial date was set on Friday for the trial to determine whether Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert should be removed from her position due to an alleged willful neglect for her official duties.

Tennessee 30th Circuit Judge Felicia Corbin-Johnson set Halbert’s trial date for August 26. Halbert will additionally appear in court on June 25, according to The Commercial Appeal, which reported that Corbin-Johnson will determine whether the clerk should be suspended from the job for the duration of the trial on that date.

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U.S. Marshals, Memphis Police Capture 18-Year-Old Murder Suspect Out on Bond for Previous Vehicle Thefts

DeMario Wilson

An 18-year-old man wanted for a deadly shooting and robbery that took place in an apartment complex in the Raleigh area of Memphis last month was captured on Tuesday by U.S. Marshals and Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers.

The suspect, Demario Wilson, was taken into custody at a residence in the 2200 block of Eldridge Avenue in Memphis, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

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Drug Overdoses Spike in Nashville, MNPD Hands Out Narcan to Homeless

Metro Nashville Police Department handed out kits for Narcan, medicine that can treat drug overdoses in emergency situations, to about 40 homeless people on Monday in response to a spike in overdoses on Sunday and Monday.

Detectives are investigating the overdose spike, according to an MNPD press release. In only one incident downtown, eight individuals overdosed together, causing two fatalities while the other six were revived with Narcan.

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Embattled Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert Refuses to Apologize Following Legal Petition Demanding Her Removal

Wanda Halbert

Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert held a press conference on Tuesday after her attorney filed a motion to dismiss the legal petition calling for her to be removed from office.

In her remarks, Halbert reasserted her stance that the Shelby County Clerk’s office should be given the majority of the money it collects for the betterment of the office and declared she will not apologize.

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State Senator Brent Taylor Says Memphis Will Be ‘Hollowed Out’ If Crime is Not Addressed

Brent Taylor

State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) warned that Memphis will be ‘hollowed out’ if its crime problem is not addressed.

Taylor, who sponsored several crime-related bills in the recently-adjourned legislative session of the General Assembly, said the response he has received from the community in Memphis for his work to crackdown on crime has been positive.

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Memphis Man Released on Bail Hunts Down, Shoots Witness from Trial

Tavious Wilson

A Memphis man out on bond for his alleged involvement in a shooting earlier this year is behind bars once again after being accused of hunting down and shooting a witness who testified at trial for the earlier shooting case.

On Monday, ABC24 News reported that it had obtained an affidavit from Shelby County court records showing that officers with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) responded to an aggravated assault on May 2 in the area of James Road and Raleigh-Millington Road.

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Memphis Mayor Paul Young Wants Property Tax Hike to Cover Budget Shortfall, Fight Crime

Paul Young

Memphis Mayor Paul Young confirmed he will ask for a property tax hike, explaining the money is needed to cover a budget shortfall and fund the city’s fight against crime.

Young announced his plans during a Tuesday event at Mount Vernon Church in Westwood that marked his first 100 days in office, revealing the city needs “at least $30 million” to fulfill obligations previously funded by expiring federal funding. The Commercial Appeal also reported Young also “vowed” a 10 percent “reduction in violent crime” each year he is in office.

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One Memphis Police Officer Killed, Two Others Shot While Responding to Suspicious Vehicle Occupied by Known Criminal

Memphis Police Department

Reactions have poured in after Memphis police officer Joseph McKinney was shot and killed early Friday morning while he and other officers were responding to a suspicious vehicle call.

On Friday approximately 2:00 a.m., officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call at Horn Lake Road and Charter Avenue, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).

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Tennessee Judge will Resign After Being Suspended over Criminal Complaint, Jailed for Alleged Cocaine Use

Melissa Boyd

A criminally indicted Shelby County judge, who last week was jailed for her alleged cocaine use, has reportedly asked to resign from her public position.

Shelby County Judge Melissa Boyd asked to resign from her judgeship in a letter dated March 29, according to Fox 13, which reported that Boyd’s letter bears the signature of one of her criminal defense attorneys.

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Tennessee Judge Melissa Boyd Jailed After Reportedly Testing Positive for Cocaine, Alcohol

Melissa Boyd

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Melissa Boyd was remanded to jail by Tennessee Circuit Judge Roy Morgan on Wednesday after prosecutors provided evidence she tested positive for cocaine twice and failed to appear for a third drug test, violating the terms of her bond.

Boyd was previously granted a low, $5,000 bond after she was criminally indicted in December for alleged harassment and coercion of a former campaign employee. That employee stated Boyd abused drugs and alcohol while serving as a judge, including while she made decisions on the bench.

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Steven Crowder Releases Tennessee Office of Homeland Security Bulletin Warning Agencies of Bomb Threat Targeting Trump Supporters

Steven Crowder

Conservative commentator Steven Crowder released an Officer Safety Bulletin issued by the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security in response to a bomb threat targeting supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The document was issued in response to a Guardian Incident Report received by the Memphis Office of the FBI on February 29, regarding a threat made by a man named Benjamin Matthew Dayton via text message to his mother.

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Tennessee Comptroller to Audit Shelby County, Expresses ‘Lack of Confidence’ over ‘Willful Neglect’ by County Clerk

Halbert Mumpower

Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower announced an audit of Shelby County due to the alleged “incompetence and willful neglect” of the county by Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert.

Mumpower announced his intention in a letter to Mayor Lee Harris and the Shelby County Commission, expressing “deep concern and lack of confidence” in Halbert’s office.

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Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor Sponsors Several Crime-Related Bills in Effort to ‘Make Memphis Matter’

State Senator Brent Taylor

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) announced he is sponsoring several crime-related bills this legislative session in an effort to fight crime and “Make Memphis Matter.”

In a letter to his colleagues in the Tennessee State Senate, Taylor detailed 13 pieces of legislation he is sponsoring and asked his colleagues to consider sponsoring the bills as well.

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Annual Report by Shelby County DA Steve Mulroy Reveals Focus on Diversity, Fairness as Memphis Faced Crime Surge

Steve Mulroy

A new report released by the office of Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy on Tuesday reveals the district attorney made his office more diverse and focused on fairness during his first year in office. Memphis suffered a crime wave during Mulroy’s first year on the job, ultimately giving it the highest homicide rate per capita in a study of large U.S. cities.

Mulroy began his report with a statement claiming “Crime and Reform” are “complementary,” arguing, “Reform restores public confidence in the fairness of our system, which is understandably low after years of neglect,” which in turn will lead to more “cooperation” with law enforcement, leading to a decrease in crime.

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TBI Investigating Death of Shelby County Jail Inmate

Ramon McGhee

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating the January 12 death of an inmate in the Shelby County Jail. 

“At the request of 30th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Mulroy, we were requested on January 10th to investigate a report that an inmate at the Shelby County Jail, Ramon McGhee (DOB: 02/19/1981) was found unresponsive, and was transported to a local hospital. On Friday, McGhee was declared dead,” TBI Public Information Officer Keli McAlister told The Tennessee Star Wednesday. “Our investigation remains active and ongoing. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of his death. Information regarding the autopsy is not something that would come from our office.”

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Memphis Elementary School Says Hands are Tied as the Satanic Temple is Set to Hold ‘After School Satan Club’ on School Grounds

Chimneyrock Elementary School in Memphis issued a statement after an “After School Satan Club” organized by the Satanic Temple and Reason Alliance is scheduled to take place on school grounds next month.

On its website, the Satanic Temple – the primary religious Satanic organization in the world – says its mission is to “encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.”

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Shelby County Judge Who Released Alleged Thanksgiving Murderer with Zero Bail Recently Railed Against Bond System in Tennessee

Shelby County General Sessions Court Judge Bill Anderson released alleged Thanksgiving Day murderer Edio White with zero bond, even after police said White admitted to driving the getaway car after the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old. In a newly resurfaced video, Anderson is seen railing against the “bond system” in Shelby County and Tennessee.

Anderson critiqued cash bail in Tennessee during a September 18 meeting of the Shelby County Commission, extending his condemnation to bail bonding companies, claiming “they don’t do anything but collect money from poor people.”

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Tennessee Gov. Lee Sends Highway Patrol to Confront ‘Rising Crime’ in Memphis, Urges Local Officials to ‘Hold Criminals Accountable’

Governor Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) announced on Monday that he ordered an increased Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) presence on highways and interstates in Shelby County to help contend with the criminal element in Memphis.

Lee issued a press release unveiling “a surge of approximately 40 additional troopers” beginning this week. On November 27, wrote Lee’s office, “an additional 15-20 troopers from other districts across the state will join the surge” and remain in Shelby County “for the foreseeable future.”

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‘Your Luck Will Run Out’: Tennessee Sheriff Sends Message to Criminals Coming to His County

Tipton County Sheriff Shannon Beasley warned individuals crossing county lines to commit crimes, saying such actions will not be tolerated.

“I will say this again, if you bring it to us we are going to bring it back at you! If you think we are going to let you run back to Memphis, or anywhere else, without any consequences…you’ve got us confused,” Beasley said in a Facebook post last week.

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Heritage Foundation Attorney Says Tennessee Man Wrongly Charged with Reckless Endangerment After Returning Fire on Assailants

A lawyer from the conservative Heritage Foundation says that she is “floored” after a Tennessee man who returned fire on multiple assailants was charged with reckless endangerment. 

“I’m floored that the home owner here is being charged with ‘reckless endangerment.’ The arguments from police seem absurd on their face to me. The only people he endangered were…the ones shooting at him. And he’s 100% entitled to ‘endanger’ them,” said Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Amy Swearer. 

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City of Memphis Says It Will Release All Recordings from Tyre Nichols Traffic Stop

Facing allegations of a cover-up, the city of Memphis says it will release all audio and video recordings in the deadly Tyre Nichols traffic stop. 

“The City is preparing to release these recordings publicly upon completion of the administrative investigation, which is expected to occur in the next few weeks,” Jennifer Sink, Chief Legal Officer for the city of Memphis, said in a statement. “

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Governor Lee Appoints Three to State Charter School Commission

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has reappointed Alan Levine to the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission. Along with Levine, Michael Carter of Davidson County and Chris Tutor of Shelby County have been submitted for approval as members. The two new members will represent Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee respectively, replacing Dr. Derwin Signet and Dave Hanson as board members. Appointments come from the governor, but must be confirmed by the General Assembly.

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Shelby County Mayor Calls for $15 Minimum Wage

Amid historic inflation that has eaten away at Americans’ paychecks, the mayor of Shelby County is calling for Tennessee’s General Assembly to pass a law increasing the minimum wage. 

“Today, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris released his administration’s recommendations for the upcoming session of the Tennessee General Assembly,” said a release from Harris’s office. “Mayor Harris’ priorities center around legislative actions that support youth and families, increase public safety, improve access to healthcare, and strengthen our democracy. One of Mayor Harris’ top legislative priorities is the adoption of a state-wide minimum wage of at least $15.”

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Drug Task Force Finds $200 Million Worth of Fentanyl in Shelby County

The West Tennessee Drug Task Force (WTDTF) found over $200 million worth of fentanyl in Shelby County on Thursday.

WTDTF shared a post on Facebook saying, “The investigation led to the discovery of 22 pounds of fentanyl and the arrest of three Kentucky men. This amount of fentanyl is enough to overdose the population of Shelby County nine times over. Fetanyl and fentanyl derived pills are deadly! Don’t even try it once! The agent who made the stop is assigned to the task force by Sheriff Garrett of Haywood County.”

The West Tennessee Drug Task Force shared a post on Facebook saying, “The investigation led to the discovery of 22 pounds of fentanyl and the arrest of three Kentucky men. This amount of fentanyl is enough to overdose the population of Shelby County nine times over. Fetanyl and fentanyl derived pills are deadly! Don’t even try it once! The agent who made the stop is assigned to the task force by Sheriff Garrett of Haywood County.”

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Governor Lee Touts Education Savings Account Program

Tennessee’s Governor on Wednesday touted the state’s new Education Savings Account (ESA) program. 

“When TN families can choose the right school for their child, that student has an even greater shot at success in life,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R) on Twitter. “That’s what our Education Savings Account program is all about. Nearly 1,000 families have applied. 350+ are already approved. And we’re just getting started.”

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Memphis Rampage Killer Ezekiel Kelly Charged with Two More Murders

Shelby County’s District Attorney Wednesday announced more than two dozen new charges against the man who went on a rampage killing spree in Memphis on September 7.

“Ezekiel Kelly has been indicted on 26 additional charges related to the September 7th shooting spree, including two homicides, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Steve Mulroy,” according to a release from Mulroy’s office.

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Report Says Tennessee Schools Spent COVID-19 Funds on Unrelated Projects

A new report by the Beacon Center of Tennessee says that $4 billion worth of federal COVID-19 relief funding allocated to Tennessee’s school systems was largely spent on items unrelated to COVID-19. 

“The data suggests that Tennessee public schools have budgeted or spent millions of dollars on areas that had little to nothing to do with COVID or student performance,” said Beacon Research Associate and report author Jason Edmonds. “School districts across the state budgeted tens of millions of dollars for ‘indirect costs’ without any further explanation and also funded pet projects such as walk-in coolers and retractable bleachers.”

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Gov. Lee Says over 2,000 Families Have Signed Up for School Voucher Program

Governor Bill Lee said last week that more than 2,000 families in Shelby and Davidson counties have already signed up for school vouchers. According to the Tennessee Department of Education, up to 5,000 are available this upcoming school year.

In 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly passed and Governor Bill Lee signed Public Chapter 506, which created the Tennessee Education Savings Account (ESA) program. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in May that the school voucher program is constitutional.

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Memphis, Nashville School Districts to Make Education Savings Accounts Available to Families

According to the governor’s office and the cities of Memphis and Nashville, more than 40 independent have committed to allowing families to enroll in Education Savings Account (ESA) programs beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year. 

“There was an urgent need for school choice in 2019, and finally, parents in Memphis and Nashville won’t have to wait another day to choose the best educational fit for their children,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R). “I thank each school that has partnered with us to swiftly implement a program that will change the lives of Tennessee students, and I invite interested families to begin the enrollment process today.” 

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CDC Says More than 20 Tennessee Counties Should Return to Wearing Masks

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued nationwide guidance on mask wearing as community COVID-19 spread levels increase, and included seven Tennessee counties in its assessment. 

“COVID-19 Community Levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data,” according to the CDC. “Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.”

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