A federal Crime Gun Strike Force is coming to Memphis
By Christen Smith
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon and U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant (Western District of Tennessee) announce formation of ATF’s Memphis Crime Gun Strike Force. (Photo: ATF/Facebook)
A coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement will soon target Memphis’s “trigger-pullers” and the traffickers who supply them, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said this week.
A Crime Gun Strike Force — led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will expand federal efforts to stifle crime rates across the city, where so far the Department of Justice claims new initiatives decreased gun-related violence 17 percent this year.
“That will enhance our capacity to investigate the criminals and organizations who operate across districts and state borders,” Whitaker said Wednesday. “In short, it will help us build on what we have already achieved over these past two years.”
In 2017, crime rates for murder, robbery and assault in Memphis measured five times the national average, according to the DOJ. Through Project Safe Neighborhoods, law enforcement brought all three categories down double digits. Still, Whitaker said, with carjackings and gun store thefts spiking more than 60 percent, the problem is far from solved.
“That means more illegal guns on the streets —