Crime Hits Home for Midtowner

If Mayor Strickland doesn’t up his crime game soon, he’ll find himself out of a job next election. He seems to be ignoring a problem that hits home to so many Memphians.

Did you catch this latest outrage? A Central Gardens resident is in a coma at the Med after two thugs drag racing down Poplar hit her. Here’s the CA’s story:

A 25-year-old man arrested in 2015 for taking part in a mob beating has now been charged in an alleged drag-racing incident late Friday night that left a woman in critical condition.

Cordero Ragland has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, reckless driving, drag racing and driving on a suspended license. Ragland was previously arrested for throwing the punch that started a mob attack that left a man injured at the BP convenience store at Poplar and Cleveland that April 10.

This latest incident happened around 11:15 p.m. at Poplar and Belleair, just across from Overton Park, police said. According to police, the woman, later identified as Lisa Sloan, was pulling out of Veteran’s Plaza Drive to go east on Poplar when she struck a 2015 Dodge Charger, allegedly driven by Ragland. A second unidentified car then hit Sloan’s car on the drivers side, police said. That driver then fled the scene, police said.

A witness told police that the Charger and the unidentified car had been drag-racing down Poplar seconds before the crash. At least two others were also injured, but were in noncritical condition, police said.

Family members said on social media that Sloan has been in a coma since the crash and is battling a severe brain injury. She remains in intensive care at the Regional Medical Center.

In the previous incident, Ragland was identified on video surveillance as the person who struck a 35-year-old man in the back of the head at the BP, starting what turned into a mob beating. Orrden Williams, who was attacked as he escorted a woman from the store to her car, suffered a concussion and several abrasions and bruises. His car also was damaged. Police previously had arrested at least 10 others, including six juveniles, in the attack.

Ragland eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated riot and assault in that incident. Court records show that he was sentenced to two years in jail on May 5, 2016; it’s uncertain why he was not in jail when the drag-racing incident occurred.

This is just Ragland’s latest brush with the law. He has previous arrests on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and criminal trespass.

Thugs like him manage to play the system and not serve full time. Why? Strickland is ultimately responsible for what goes on here; as a lawyer he understands what can be done.

Yesterday on his radio show, Ben Ferguson commented that Strickland spends a lot of time fighting deannexation. He lamented that he doesn’t spend as much time and passion on crime as on this topic. He’s right. This is the city’s most pressing issue. It’s time he addressed it.

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