Apr 282016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Instead of making his passionate plea from one of the city’s more dangerous inner city neighborhoods where residents experience crime day after day, Mayor Landrieu chose the relative safety of Tulane University and the campus police who could help protect attendees. Who was Landrieu’s real intended audience — the neighborhoods that can afford extra security or the law-abiding citizens who are afraid to let their kids play outside? Was Landrieu’s speech a positioning statement for his future in the Clinton administration? Continue reading »

Apr 272016
 
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks at Tulane University while a projector screen displays the faces of victims of violence in the city. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaks at Tulane University while a projector screen displays the faces of victims of violence in the city. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A host of city initiatives and reforms are pushing crime in New Orleans to historic lows, but such gains are impossible to celebrate when homicide rates in the city remain four times the national average, said Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Wednesday night as he laid out the many ways he believes the city, its residents, and its state and federal partners can continue to push the progress forward. Continue reading »

Apr 252016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Perhaps the most crucial skill a citizen can have when viewing the myriad policies proposed by politicians is knowing the difference between that which is substantive, and that which panders. The electorate should know when a politician is genuinely trying to make the world better, as opposed to merely looking like they’re trying to make the world better.

Alas, New Orleanians were exposed to the latter this past Friday, when Mayor Mitch Landrieu, flanked by Councilmembers Jason Williams and James Gray, proposed a five-part ordinance “aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Apr 202016
 

Willie Hughes (via NOPD)

Willie Hughes (via NOPD)

A 60-year-old man who has been in and out of jail on home-invasion charges since the 1970s was arrested over the weekend after allegedly showing up in a woman’s bedroom on Tchoupitoulas Street and robbing her of her purse, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

Apr 192016
 
Three armed robberies reported in the university area, police say. (map via NOPD)

Three armed robberies reported in the university area, police say. (map via NOPD)

In the first case, two Metairie men drinking at a university frat house brawled with two armed robbers, New Orleans police said. In the second robbery of the weekend, a delivery driver was confronted by a lone gunman on Octavia Street, while the third robbery took place mere moments later far enough away that a connection seems unlikely, investigators say.

All three cases remain under investigation, detectives in the Uptown-based Second District said on Tuesday, and while all possibilities remain on the table, the three robberies around the university area from this weekend appear to have taken place under circumstances too different to be connected. Continue reading »

Apr 162016
 

The 4100 block of Tchoupitoulas is between Marengo and Milan. (map via NOPD)

The 4100 block of Tchoupitoulas is between Marengo and Milan. (map via NOPD)

A woman asleep in her home woke up early Saturday morning to find an intruder in her home demanding her purse, but he took it and left without harming her, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Apr 152016
 
Police investigate a fatal shooting on Monroe Street half a block from Johnson Elementary School in November 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Police investigate a fatal shooting on Monroe Street half a block from Johnson Elementary School in November 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Crime in New Orleans never ceases to become more shocking, as tragically shown again this weekend in the road-rage shooting death of beloved former Saints player Will Smith on Sophie Wright Place in the Lower Garden District that continues to make national headlines.

But 2016 could be quietly returning the overall downward trend in murders seen in the last few years — down 33 percent from 2015 — but also slightly down from the numbers in 2014, which were touted as the lowest number of murders New Orleans had recorded in decades. Continue reading »

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Apr 152016
 
The weapon confiscated in the traffic stop (via NOPD)

The Glock 9-mm and 50-round magazine confiscated in the traffic stop (via NOPD)

Darnell Thomas (via NOPD)

Darnell Thomas (via NOPD)

Terrell Thompson (via NOPD)

Terrell Thompson (via NOPD)

New Orleans police confiscated a 9-mm handgun with a 50-round magazine from two men with previous felony drug convictions Monday night during a traffic stop on Danneel Street in Central City, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Apr 132016
 
Investigators gather on Sophie Wright Place after the fatal shooting of former Saints player Will Smith. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Investigators gather on Sophie Wright Place after the fatal shooting of former Saints player Will Smith. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Seven of the bullets that killed former Saints player Will Smith on Saturday night entered through his back, and one entered through the side of his chest, Orleans Parish Coroner Jeffrey Rouse announced Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Apr 112016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

On Saturday, around 11:30 p.m., former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was driving through my neighborhood. He was with his wife, Racquel. As he approached Felicity Street while driving eastbound on Sophie Wright Place, he was allegedly rear-ended by one Cardell Hayes.

Hayes and Smith exited their respective vehicles and got into a heated argument. Hayes pulled a gun, at which point Smith ostensibly turned. Hayes then sprayed out a hail of bullets, hitting Smith in his back and right torso. Smith bled out at the scene. Raquel was struck in her right leg.

Smith was much beloved in New Orleans, and this senseless act of violence has thus struck a chord with many. A makeshift memorial appeared Sunday near the scene of the shooting. Continue reading »