New safety plan could impose bar curfews following downtown violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Downtown Memphis Safety Plan has been on hold for months, but recent gun violence may lead the city to reconsider its safety measures.

The 60-page safety plan contains a range of recommendations to make Downtown Memphis safer. Among the recommendations is closing the bars in the Beale Street Entertainment District no later than 2 a.m.

“I’m sure there are bars on Beale Street that say, ‘No we can’t afford to close that early,'” said Jerred Price, President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. “We hear people say, ‘Well, wouldn’t that hurt the business?’ What’s hurting the business is the reputation that’s being harmed by incidents after one or two in the morning.”

Price says the Downtown Memphis Commission may fast-track a vote on creating the curfew following recent shootings, including Thursday night’s incident outside Blind Bear.

“The later it goes, the worse we see things happen. Nothing good happens with a bunch of intoxicated people at 3 in the morning,” said Price.

Three additional shootings have taken place in Downtown Memphis over the last two weeks, leaving two injured and one man dead.

Witness: 52-year-old killed over spilled drink on Beale

“Anytime anyone gets shot, it’s not a good thing. My heart and prayers go out to the family. We’re going to keep doubling down on our efforts,” said Mayor Paul Young.

Price says the safety plan currently has no timeline but could go before the council within the next few weeks.

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