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|CRIME NEAR GRACELAND CAUSE FOR CONCERN
January 27, 2016 MRS / Elvis Express Radio
A man was murdered at a motel Monday night that sits less than mile from Elvis Presley’s Graceland.
Tourists from around the world told FOX13 they’ve heard the King’s house is in a bad neighborhood.
“We heard that it was a bit dodgy,” Stewart Franks, a tourist visiting Graceland from Australia, said. “You can tell it's a low social-economic area. It's low-income, I guess. There's
not much to see apart from Graceland.”
The American Inn, the motel where a man was killed in a shooting Monday night, is riddled with criminal activity, according to reports obtained by FOX13 News.
After digging into the motel’s past, FOX13 discovered Memphis police were called to the property 221 times from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 26, 2016. There were domestic disturbances,
fights, shootings, drug sales and robberies, to name a few of the incidents listed on the report.
Joshua Henry, a tourist from Arkansas who was visiting Graceland Wednesday, said he believes Graceland is surrounded by nuisances, like the American Inn.
“You got to be careful, because it's in the hood,” Henry said. “You see Graceland, you see Elvis' house, you see a couple of crackheads, and you see this nice little area."
“It's like the White House, you go three blocks over you in the hood. Graceland (is) the same way. The world is ghetto.”
The back of the American Inn is trashed with beer cans, liquor bottles and litter. Neighbors who live and work near the motel told FOX13 the hotel needs to be shut down.
A spokesperson from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office said in an email the hotel has been shut down before, and it could be closed again.
“We rely upon MPD to investigate the occurrences at the location,” Vince Higgins told FOX13. “Once MPD has completed their investigation, they present the facts to our office to
file a nuisance petition. MPD is looking into it, as are we.”
The District Attorney’s office, with MPD, shut the American Inn down with a nuisance petition that resulted in a temporary injunction in 2013, Higgins said. The American Inn was
closed from Jan. 25, 2013 until Feb. 4, 2013.
The petition cited numerous city code violations, criminal complaints and violence uncovered at the American Inn Motel during the Memphis Police Department's investigation. But
the hotel later reopened.
No one in the community would go on camera or provide a statement, out of fear of retaliation from the motel managers and the long-term guests of the motel. But they said they
have witnessed prostitution, drug deals, and violence at the hotel.
Managers at the motel declined to comment Wednesday.