Coalition of Concerned Citizens
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens — a group demanding local police reform and more city contracting with minority businesses — will host a prayer for peace on Monday morning in response to the shooting deaths of three Baton Rouge police officers on Sunday morning.
The prayer service will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday at Memphis City Hall and will be led by pastor Stacy Spencer of New Direction Christian Church and Joseph B. Kyles of Rainbow/PUSH. Rabbis Micah Greenstein and Bess Wohlner of Temple Israel will also be there.
The coalition is made up of members of the AAFANTE Tribe, the Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter, the Memphis Grass Roots Organization, HOPE: Help Our Proud Environment, and the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense & Inward Journey. Many of the coalition members were involved in organizing the protest last Sunday that shut down the I-40 bridge for several hours.
On Sunday afternoon, the coalition issued the following statement in regard to the police shootings:
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens grieves with the families of the fallen law enforcement officers in Baton Rogue. There is no greater tragedy than the loss of human life, especially due to violence. The Coalition of Concerned Citizens is currently working with law enforcement and officials in Memphis and Shelby County on solutions to increase understanding, communication and improve police and citizen relations to continue on the path to progress.
We, as a coalition, will continue to stand for the preservation of all human life, community, and above all, humanity, as our movement always has. We ask that all who stand for the same join us in our mission to create a safer, more equitable, and unified Memphis.
In response to Sunday's shootings, Memphis Police interim director Michael Rallings has placed the Memphis Police Department on high-alert Level 3 status, which means vacation days and days off are canceled until further notice.
On Sunday morning, 29-year-old Gavin Long shot and killed three officers in Baton Rouge. Several other officers were wounded, and one remains in critical condition.