Tracking you (socially)
Memphis police tracked you on social media for at least one year, but they won't say if they still do it or how they use the information.
Last week, the Flyer discovered that the Memphis Police Department (MPD) bought and used a program in 2014 from Geofeedia. The software shows users a map of their area overlaid with pins showing who is posting what, to what social media platform they are posting, and what they are posting about.
Memphis Police Department spokesman Louis Brownlee said it was a one-year subscription, and MPD used it for "checking social media for public safety." When asked whether or not MPD still uses similar software and how, specifically, they would use it to track citizens, Brownlee returned a two-sentence response.
"We no longer utilize Geofeedia; however, our investigators are capable of searching keywords for current events as anyone else can via social media," Brownlee said in an email. "We will not disclose our specific tactics in detail due to investigative and possible evidentiary reasons."
Schilling goes free
No federal charges will be filed against former MPD officer Connor Schilling in the 2015 shooting death of African-American teenager Darrius Stewart.
The news was announced last week by Edward Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Stanton said the decision not to charge Schilling came after a "comprehensive, independent" review of the circumstances related to the event by his office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.
"Based on these eyewitness accounts, the statement of the officer involved, the video, and the physical evidence, there is insufficient evidence to disprove Schilling's assertion that he needed to use deadly force against Stewart," Stanton said.
Rep. Steve Cohen said he was disappointed in the decision and called it a "miscarriage of justice."
Pink heat debunked
A pink cop car raised the hackles of Memphis social media-ites, who decried the MPD could have put the paint-job funds to better use.
The car was wrapped in pink, in support of breast cancer awareness month, but the funds to do it didn't come from MPD's budget. The wrap job was donated by the West Clinic and the University of Tennessee West Institute for Cancer Research.
Shorb Helms Urban Child
Health-care veteran Gary Shorb will helm The Urban Child Institute (TUCI), the once-beleaguered nonprofit agency.
The nonprofit research center was once widely criticized for giving little of its massive investment funds to Memphis charities and for paying huge salaries to its top brass.
TUCI founder and former CEO Eugene Cashman's pay topped out at $778,519 back in 2012. Shorb will take the reins at TUCI in February and will be paid around $160,000.
Shorb is retiring as CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.
Buying the Rival
Bass Pro Shops will buy outdoor retail rival Cabela's in a deal valued at $5.5 billion.
The two companies announced the deal Monday morning, noting "a driving force behind this agreement is the highly complementary business philosophies, product offerings, expertise, and geographic footprints of the two businesses."
Cabela's has undoubtedly been one of Bass Pro's biggest business rivals. It has 85 retail stores and over 19,000 employees, or "outfitters." The stores are primarily in the western U.S. and Canada.
Bass Pro plans to keep and grow the Cabela's brand. Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Morris will lead the new business entity and will be its largest shareholder.
Bass Pro spent about $102 million to move into the Memphis Pyramid last year. The company posted sales of about $56 million in its first year at the new venue.