Four people, including a 14-year-old boy and a 64-year-old woman, were shot in Central City on Monday, the New Orleans Police Department reported. The quadruple shooting occurred at about 8:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Freret Street, near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Sixth District officers responding to reports of an aggravated battery by shooting discovered multiple victims who were struck by gunfire. The teenager suffered a graze wound to the ankle during this incident. An adult male sustained a graze wound to the head, and another man sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Armed with push cards, customized face masks and signs, judicial candidate Rhonda Goode-Douglas spent Saturday morning greeting voters outside Congregation Coffee Roasters in Algiers. On Saturday afternoon, her opponent Derwyn Bunton posed with his wife Eileen and daughters Chloe and Reilly for photographs and video that will be used in social media. Both candidates would have attended the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in City Park today – always a highlight of the fall political season – had it not been canceled.
While Labor Day signals the beginning of the final two-month stretch before the Nov. 3 elections, New Orleans candidates up and down the ballot are continually adjusting to the new normal of campaigning during COVID-19.
“I came to this coffee shop because I wanted to meet the residents of Algiers Point,” said Goode-Douglas, a defense attorney who is running for Criminal District Court judge, Section E. “It’s difficult to spread our message and touch the community without being able to campaign door-to-door. We are dropping literature at people’s houses, but we are not ringing their bells.”
“Trying to win an election during a pandemic requires extra creativity as well as a heavy reliance on technology and social media,” said Bunton, Orleans Parish’s chief public defender and also a candidate for Criminal District Court Section E. “The usual canvassing, meet-and-greets and handshaking can literally place you, your volunteers and potential voters in danger, so we are being respectful and following the science.”
“Campaigns used to be about visiting people, but now they are all about content for social media,” said Ray Reggie, who has 36 years’ experience on political campaigns.
An armed robbery suspect was arrested early Sunday after he was held by the robbery victim and a group of bystanders in Hollygrove, the New Orleans Police Department reported. The victim, a 45-year-old man, was approached by a gunman at about 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 6 in the 2600 block of Eagle Street. The gunman demanded the victim’s property, but he resisted, resulting in a physical altercation. Some bystanders stepped in, and the suspect was detained until officers arrived.
The New Orleans Police Department apprehended a suspect fleeing the scene of a fatal shooting in Central City. On Friday around 10:25 a.m., Sixth District officers were on patrol near Clio Street and Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way when they heard a single gunshot. Officers discovered an adult male victim lying in the street in the 1200 block of Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way. The Emergency Medical Service was called, and the medical responders pronounced him dead at the scene. The victim was later identified as Cedric Simmons Jr. Simmons was 34.
The New Orleans Police Department in coordination with the FBI disposed of a live explosive device found in a Broadmoor area home on Sept. 1. At around 3:40 p.m., Second District officers responded to a home in the 4100 block of Walmsley Avenue after a hand grenade was discovered in a garage by family members cleaning out the home of a deceased relative. At that time, homes near the location were evacuated and a safety perimeter was set up as the NOPD and FBI bomb squads responded. Upon further investigation, the device was determined to be a military-grade explosive.
Long before the honorific “criminal justice reformer” came in vogue, Arthur L. Hunter Jr. was earning a national reputation for identifying alternative solutions to incarceration aimed at decreasing recidivism. After four years as a New Orleans police officer, 12 years as a lawyer in private practice, and 23 years as the Section K Criminal District Court judge, Hunter decided the only way he could bring greater systemic change was to run for district attorney. “I am the clear choice for New Orleans voters who want a fair criminal justice system that truly addresses the needs of victims and defendants while creating programs that reduce crime,” Hunter said. A former St. Augustine High School football star, Hunter said he is running as “a candidate of the people, not a candidate of the bosses.”
Hunter, 61, said he earned the trust of the community during his stint as a police officer.
A Central City tenant who was given an eviction notice Monday was arrested Tuesday in Texas on suspicion of aggravated arson in the fire that engulfed a Washington Avenue apartment building, Ramon Antonio Vargas reported on NOLA.com. Jazlynn Major, 25, was booked on a warrant accusing her of 26 counts of arson following the three-alarm blaze Monday night at the Amies Paradise apartments that killed a dog and displaced 26 residents.
The city is offering free walkup COVID-19 this week at two Central City churches. Testing at the New Zion New Zion Baptist Church, 2319 Third St., will be held today (Sept. 1), Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or until tests run out. An hour after Monday’s site opened, city officials sent out a message that there was no line for the tests. The non-invasive nasal swabs are offered at this site by LCMC, LSU, New Orleans Health Department.
Researchers with the Tulane University School of Social Work are conducting a survey to determine the extent of compassion fatigue among of doctors, nurses and other front-line workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is the work of disaster mental health experts Leia Saltzman, Tonya Hansel and Charles Figley, the latter of whom was among the scholars who coined the term “compassion fatigue.” Figley is also director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute. “Compassion fatigue is related to the concept of burnout,” said Saltzman, an assistant professor. “It is something we see sometimes in caregivers and emergency responders, particularly in disaster scenarios. “Most often compassion fatigue can be thought of as an emotional exhaustion that manifests as the reduced ability of a caregiver or responder to engage in empathy and/or compassion for the survivor they are working with.”
The study seeks input from medical professionals, mental health professionals, such as social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists and other first responders.
Flames engulfed an apartment building on Washington and Carondelet streets on Monday night. Firefighters were called to the three-alarm fire about 8:30 p.m. It was under control at about 11 p.m.
All 26 residents in the two-story building were safely evacuated, the Fire Department reported. A dog belonging to one of the residents died in the fire, however. About 300 people in the area were without power Monday night because of the blaze.