I’m angry today. It is a righteous anger.
My hometown is a war zone. Memphis, Tennessee.
Last night a 19-year-old man grabbed a gun and a smart phone and went on a shooting spree. Broadcast live on Facebook.
An entire city was put on lockdown.
1.3 million people sheltered in place at the county fair and the AutoZone ballpark and restaurants.
One city councilman told radio station KWAM that he was hunkered down in his home with his wife, daughter and a pistol in his lap.
The gunman surrendered – but not before shooting seven people, killing four.
And now comes word the gunman was a repeat offender. He was arrested in 2020 for attempted first degree murder. Only got three years — but was set free after serving 11 months.
In February of 2020, Ezekiel Kelly, then 17, was charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a dangerous felony and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, court records showed. Circumstances of the case were not immediately known.
Records show he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced in April 2021 to three years. Kelly was released from prison in March, 11 months after he was sentenced, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.
“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 mayor said.
“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,” the mayor said. “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.”
A few days ago a school teacher was kidnapped and murdered in Memphis. Eliza Fletcher. Her killer was supposed to be jail, too.
This is the reality of progressive policies that coddle criminals.
No one is safe. Not in Memphis and not in America.