Tuesday, 24 January 2017 08:53

Landrieu's "killing fields" New Orleans anti-crime efforts make no progress

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CRIME SCENEThe city of New Orleans is not making progress in fighting violent crime. In fact, the murder rate seems to be escalating. In 2016, the murder rate increased to 175 victims, an increase of 7% from the year before. Per capita, New Orleans had the fourth highest murder rate in the country in 2016. However, per FBI statistics, in the five-year period ending in 2015, New Orleans had the highest murder rate in the country with 46.9 murders per 100,000 citizens.

The reporting period started at the same time as the first term of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who presided over the decimation of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). In the first six years of the Landrieu administration, the NOPD lost over 500 officers to retirement, resignation, disciplinary actions and other reasons. Incredibly, during this crucial period, the Landrieu administration did not launch any new police recruiting classes to fill the ranks with new officers. While the Mayor cited budgetary woes, the citizens have suffered greatly from a declining police force and an increasing violent crime rate.

While the NOPD claimed that progress was made in 2016 in some crime categories, there was a definite regression in the efforts to stem the rising tide of murders. Sadly, the start of 2017 does not look promising with a total of 14 murders at this early stage of the year.

The most recent murder occurred last night in Algiers when another Domino’s Pizza delivery driver was killed at the intersection of Stratford Place and Westchester Street. A neighbor described the driver as having “the nicest guest service.” He had just finished making his delivery when he was senselessly killed in a hail of gunfire by a passing vehicle.

Neighbors reported hearing up to eight gunshots in a crime that was not motivated by robbery. Either the driver was specifically targeted by the murderers or he was randomly killed by them. Regardless of the motivations, the killing was just the latest tragedy in a city producing too many of these horrible incidents.

The driver was training a new employee, who was fortunately not harmed in the shooting. The victim was an example of a working-class man trying to make a living in New Orleans, but unable to survive because the streets of the city are too unsafe. This continues a disturbing trend of pizza delivery and cab drivers being killed in New Orleans.

After the latest murder, Domino’s and the other pizza companies and restaurants operating in New Orleans should discontinue pizza delivery service. It is just too unsafe to deliver pizza in certain neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Clearly, the city has become a killing field as criminals run wild and police are too few to make a real difference in the crime rate. In the cases that lead to arrest, many times, criminals are soon released from prison back onto the streets of New Orleans by liberal judges. The revolving door in the city’s criminal justice system needs to be shut permanently.

In the meantime, there is another innocent victim and another shattered family trying to piece together their lives after the loss of a loved one. These incidents will continue until concrete action is taken to deal with this problem.

Ironically, the murder occurred just hours after the Mayor held a news conference to tout his latest crime-fighting plan. It was just more rhetoric and promises from a politician who has completely failed in dealing with this pressing issue, the most important one facing the beleaguered people of New Orleans.



Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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