The city of Memphis, which slashed retirement benefits for police officers following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, is now running billboard campaigns urging young men not to commit murder.
An image purportedly showing one such billboard was posted to the X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter) by ScienceIO CEO Will Manidis.
“Anti-murder billboards are an incredibly effective economic indicator,” he quipped. “My hometown just got its first.”
Manidis noted that the image was from Memphis. but that he was aware of another similar effort in Pennsylvania.
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Memphis Discouraging Violent Crime – ‘Real Men Don’t Murder’
The “Real Men Don’t Murder” PSA appears to be very real and promoted by the city of Memphis itself. The link on the billboard goes to a site promoting the same message with the city of Memphis and Crime Commission logos associated.
Local television station ABC 24 notes that one of the men used for messaging in the PSAs is Jerald Trotter, who can be seen in several of the videos on their site.
“Trotter’s speaking from experience you might recognize him from a PSA from the city of Memphis and Crime Commission,” they report. “He said his temper got the best of him 22 years ago. That’s when he served time after a deadly shooting.”
Now he’s explaining to boys growing up in Memphis that “real men don’t murder.”
“Real men don’t murder,” Trotter declares in one of the videos. “Real men don’t kill women and children.”
That’s right – the “real men don’t murder” spokesperson for Memphis actually murdered somebody.
“The situation got out of hand. I ended up killing someone that I shouldn’t have killed,” he told the local ABC affiliate.
I was today years old when I learn’t anti-murder billboards were a thing… how strange!
What % of potential murderers are so on the fence that a billboard will sway them I wonder?
— Ewan Makepeace (@ewanmakepeace) November 20, 2023
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Defunding The Police Led To Lower Standards For Recruits
The vacancies were a result of pensions being slashed at that time. The need to fill those vacancies led to hiring recruits without so much as a formal interview.
Brown’s shooting had been deemed “justified” by the Obama Justice Department, but the “defunding” pro-law enforcement critics contend that it led to the lower standar…