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Posted on: November 18, 2021

Shelby County Health Department Statement on Shooting of Artist Young Dolph

A logo which reads, "Public Health. Prevent. Promote. Protect. Shelby County Health Department.&#

The senseless shooting death yesterday of the artist known as Young Dolph reminds us that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are fighting another public health crisis in our community: an epidemic of gun violence. Our deepest condolences to the family of Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr. and to Maurice Hill and the staff of Makeda’s Cookies, where the violence took place.

The Memphis and Shelby County community suffers an unacceptably high rate of assaults and homicides, many involving firearms. We should not and cannot continue to tolerate the senseless violence that is taking the lives and destroying the futures of so many of our young people. The key to addressing the endless cycle of shootings and retaliatory shootings in our community is to heal the generational trauma that makes violence appear to be the only solution to conflict.  Adverse childhood experiences and adverse community experiences have added up over time, due to the structural and institutional failures to address the issues that lead to gun violence in our community. The Shelby County Health Department works daily to address the policies and practices that hinder too many of our residents, throughout the life course.

I urge everyone to learn about the growing movement to stop gun violence in our community and join one of the grassroots community organizations that are addressing the issue.   In addition, the Shelby County Health Department is committed to continuing to end adverse experiences that lead to gun violence in our community by providing a wide range of prevention and screening services, expanding our reach by convening mental health resources, and taking action on our analysis of gun violence as a public health crisis in our community.   Please join us in meaningful and collaborative action to end this cycle of mourning in Shelby County.  

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