Young Dolph’s memorial at Makeda’s Cookies in Memphis will be demolished following the killing of caretaker Jeremiah Taylor.
Dolph was shot and killed at the location on November 17, 2021. The rapper, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was 36 years old. Two men, Justin Johnson, 23, and Cornelius Smith, 32, are facing first-degree murder charges related to the shooting. Both have pled not guilty in the case.
A third man wanted in the case, Devin Burns, 27, was arrested on February 22. Another person is still being sought in connection to Dolph’s death.
The building owner where the memorial is housed, Lloyd White, told WREG of his decision in a March 2 interview. White said in the interview that while he appreciated what Dolph had done for the local community, he felt it was time to move on.
Makeda’s Cookies is located along Airways Boulevard in the city. Since the shooting, the store has been closed. The bakery owner, Rachel Winton, told Fox Memphis that the store would reopen sometime after the memorial was removed. Winton added, “We feel like Dolph would want us to stay there. That was his favorite cookie shop.”
The owner of the building said he was losing business because of the memorial
Lloyd White also said that he was losing business because of the memorial. He said, “I feel like now it’s time for it to come down because it’s affecting me pretty bad. Some of my customers don’t like to be around this kind of stuff where it happens, and the cookie shop, Makeda’s, they are ready to come back.” White said that he had seen people coming from as far away as New York to see the memorial in the same interview.
White added that many of the items from the memorial would be preserved for a more permanent memorial for Young Dolph.
The memorial’s caretaker was shot dead while driving his car on February 25
The announcement of the removal of the memorial comes just days after the site’s caretaker, Jeremiah Taylor, was shot and killed in Memphis. Fox Memphis reported on February 25 that Taylor was killed after being shot while driving his car. The local community activist later hit a pole with his vehicle after the shooting.
Taylor’s friend Frank Gottie told Fox Memphis, “Jeremiah was a great person and he was so on point. He was helpful he would try to help anybody.”
Taylor told ABC Memphis in January 2022 that he spent 15 minutes every day on memorial maintenance. Taylor said that his motivation for his actions was simply to do “something positive.”
Young Dolph fans think Memorial should be made permanent’
Some Young Dolph fans have said they are not happy about the planned removal of the memorial.
One fan tweeted, “The city needs to buy Young Dolph’s memorial location, and leave it there permanently…remove it for what?”
Another fan, who drove 100 miles to see the memorial, told WREG, “It’s a little devastating to see it coming down because it’s beautiful to have something to remember him of. We should move forward, let his name reign on forever.”