To serve and protect

Sheriff’s deputies have a very difficult job. And no matter what justice system reform measures we support, we should honor them.

The work of our law enforcement personnel is dangerous but essential. Their responsibilities are intense even in normal times. But these are not normal times. Now add the additional risk of a global health crisis and the increased scrutiny of outraged citizens.

I believe we can value the lives of black Americans and make needed improvements to our justice system without stripping needed equipment and resources from our law enforcement officers.

It’s terrible we’ve reached a point where that sentence even needs to be written, but some see this as an either-or question. I respectfully disagree.


COVID-19 weekly update

Shelby County

The new cases trend continues to rise, moving up from about 90 per day last week to about 130 per day this week.

Black lives matter

I love this country, cherish our freedoms, admire our system of government, respect those who framed it and fought for it, believe in its principles and have taken an oath to defend its Constitution.

This is how that document begins:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

As an American, my charge is to see those aims fulfilled, continually and increasingly for every one of my countrymen, the People of the United States. That work is not once and done but ongoing. It must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.

Because we are human, injustices will continue. Because we are Americans, we will seek justice anyway. Because we belong to the Almighty, we know Justice never fails.

When any one of our brothers or sisters is denied justice, it is our responsibility to correct it. Any time a group of Americans is prevented from enjoying domestic tranquility, when their general welfare is threatened, or when the blessings of liberty feel to them like an illusive dream, we must stand with them.

These are things we do because we are Americans.

Those of us who follow Christ have an additional set of responsibilities that include honoring one another above ourselves, mourning with those who mourn, living at peace with everyone, and overcoming evil with good.

It breaks my heart that many black Americans do not feel like their lives matter to the rest of us. It saddens me even more that some do not feel at home in the land of the free, simply because they are black.

Too many Americans, black and white, have sacrificed too much, here and abroad, for those feelings to be met with silence and inaction.

Our speech must be sincere, and our actions must be thoughtful.

If we do this, we will form a more perfect union. We owe that to each other and to our posterity.


The positivity rate

Memphians eager to get “Back to Business” have taken encouragement from declines in the COVID-19 positivity rate.

Given this trend, some are wondering why area mayors are slow to move into “Phase 3” of the re-opening framework.


Ban the Box

Today I am pleased to announce I have joined an initiative led by Mayor Lee Harris to help clear a pathway to rehabilitation and restoration for those with arrest and conviction records.