(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County District Attorney and the city of Memphis declared a part of a neighborhood a public nuisance.
At Farrington Street and Hollowell Avenue in South Memphis police have boarded up several houses controlled by the so-called Riverside Rolling 90s Crips, who are no longer allowed to even gather in groups.
Monday's actions were the first time in Shelby County that a statute allowing a nuisance order based on gang activity was used. It is all part of a court order sought by the Multi-Agency Gang Unit following a 10-month investigation.
What officials call the safety zone encompasses an area established where known gang members can no longer gather, recruit, or spray graffiti – among other things.
"It is estimated that there are several thousand hard working people in this area who have had enough of the criminal activity of the Riverside Rolling 90s Crips," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. "It's only the second time in the state of TN that law enforcement has come together to use this statute to bring relief to thousands of good citizens that live in this area."
Between 40 and 50 known gang members were indentured by this investigation. Police say there were at least four shootings and a murder in this area the week the court order was sought.
"Just as they tagged this building we have now tagged them, and it's going to make it a lot harder for the higher ups to work with somebody who's been tagged in a criminal complaint," said Memphis mayor A C Wharton.
Susie Williams says her family has been held hostage in their own home by neighborhood gangs.
"I got three [holes from bullets] down the side of my house just replaced the glass door, and I'm tired of living like that and shouldn't have to," she said. "We're tired of sleeping on the floor, tired of staying in the back of the house. Our kids can't ride their bikes in the streets without ducking."
Williams says the effort to wipe out the gang violence is a blessing.
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