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Beale Street will add a $5 fee and extra security after a triple shot

Overhauled security measures following a fatal triple shooting last weekend on Beale Street were announced by the Downtown Memphis Commission on Tuesday.

Paul Young, president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission, told The Commercial Appeal that two security measures would be added to the existing security protocol for Memphis’ busiest entertainment district: a security fee from Beale Street and an extended period of customer walks with hand-held devices. metal detectors for weapons.

The Beale Street Security Fee, formerly known as Beale Street Bucks, will come into effect on Friday. In order to pass through the proverbial gates on Beale Street, customers will have to shell out upwards of $5.

The concept isn’t new, and it’s already faced criticism from members of the Memphis City Council, who say the fee inadvertently discriminates and denies access to a public street.

“Security fees have been proven to reduce incidents of unsafe behavior,” Young said, referring to past stampedes and shootings on Beale that happened during the warmer months and high-traffic events like the Beale Street Music Festival.

The $5 fee should last all summer. Revenue generated from the fees, Young said, will be used to maintain the enhanced security features.

In addition to the security fee, customers can also expect to be searched for weapons with the handheld metal detectors, also known as wands. Users are already subject to this measure, but only until 1 a.m.

From Friday, weapons analyzes will be carried out until 3 a.m. Identity checks will also extend until 3 a.m.

The deadly shooting that triggered this heightened security round took place just after 2am on Sunday morning – just over an hour after a weapons search for customers in Beale Street ended.

“When we have these high traffic times, it’s important to keep everyone safe,” Young said.

As of Tuesday, the investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Police have yet to identify the two suspects who suffered life-threatening injuries.

The shooting erupted right in front of Memphis police, who were caught in the crossfire. The suspects, according to the police, were leaving the bar and the Green Room concert venue. The shooting also took place just yards from the Memphis police Beale Street substation.

An unknown number of officers returned fire; it is not yet known if the injured suspects were shot by the police or by citizens.

Micaela Watts is a reporter for The Commercial Appeal and can be contacted at [email protected]