Rise Up North Protest
By: Ben Griffith, Summer Creator
On a hot afternoon at the corner of Springdale and Howell in North Memphis, a small group of protesters stood outside the Top Shop Stop expressing their concerns of how the corner store has negatively impacted the surrounding community.
These protesters represent the Rise Up North Memphis initiative, a program backed by the Black Lives Matter Memphis organization.
They stood there in the heat calling on their fellow North Memphians to boycott the store in wake of its most recent and gravest offense: the “cold-blooded murder” of 17-year old Dorian Harris.
Harris was shot and mortally wounded at the site on March 29 after he allegedly stole a beer, sparking outrage at the shop owner who fired the gun and consequently the store he ran.
Speaker P. Moses said a lot of this anger is drawn from reasons outside of him being associated as the youth’s accused killer. The first is that he is a foreigner in the black community (a Yemeni immigrant) utilizing disproportionate economics that do not reciprocate well-being for the community which extends systematic and racial inequity in Memphis.
The second is that his Top Shop Stop is a “public nuisance,” creating a harmful environment and assisting the decline of the North Memphis community by attracting gangs and loiterers to the convenience store.
They argued that there is no need for the Top Shop Stop since it is 1 of 6 alcohol dispensing establishments within a 1 square mile radius and it cultivated crime in the North Memphis community. The protesters all want the establishment to be shut down.