Surveillance video released in Chestnut Street smash-and-grab car break-in

After a man smashed the window of a car parked on Chestnut Street to steal the electronics inside it earlier this week, detectives have obtained and released high-definition surveillance video and images they hope will lead them to a suspect, New Orleans police said. Shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, a black Kia SUV pulled alongside a parked car in the 5800 block of Chestnut Street, according to a NOPD report. “The driver of the Kia – a thin black male wearing a black hooded jacket, skinny blue jeans and white tennis shoes – is seen using a window punch to shatter the victim’s driver door window before stealing Apple air pods from the interior of the vehicle,” the report states. The back-seat passenger on the driver’s side can also be seen in the video, the report notes.

Robberies at gunpoint reported on Oak Street, Washington Avenue

One man was robbed Saturday evening at gunpoint inside his vehicle on Washington Avenue, and another man was robbed at gunpoint Sunday morning on Oak Street, New Orleans police said. Shortly before 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 10), a man in his 50s was in his vehicle near Washington Avenue and South Galvez when an armed man got in and demanded his belongings, according to the initial NOPD report. He also ordered the victim to start driving, then later got out and left, the report states. Just before 6 a.m. Sunday, a 50-year-old man was at Oak and Eagle streets when a stranger demanded his belonging at gunpoint and then left, the report in that case states.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson draws three challengers on last day of qualifying; House District 91 field grows to five

In the final hours of qualifying on Thursday, the already-crowded field of contenders for about a dozen seats representing New Orleans in the state legislature swelled again to nearly 40 candidates — including the entry of three challengers to Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and a fifth candidate for House District 91. The biggest change to the ballot for many Uptown voters is in Senate District 5, which represents almost all of Uptown except for the Audubon area. Incumbent Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, who was unopposed for most of the qualifying period, drew three challengers on Thursday afternoon, all fellow Democrats: Allen Borne Jr. and “Fox Rich” Richardson of New Orleans, and Ronald Brown Jr. of Metairie. Borne is an attorney with an office on South Claiborne Avenue, according to his firm’s website. Richardson is an activist in criminal-justice reform who was formerly incarcerated alongside her husband after a botched bank robbery and now works with the Voice of the Experienced, according to her personal website.

Qualifying in crowded state legislative elections slows as Thursday-evening deadline approaches

Term-limits on a number of state legislators elected after Hurricane Katrina brought an initial flurry of candidates to newly-vacant seats in the first two days of qualifying this week, but no new contenders joined the crowded field on Thursday morning as only a few hours remained before the afternoon’s deadline for the Oct. 12 election. Contested elections include:

House District 91, which runs from the Irish Channel through Milan and Broadmoor into Hollygrove and is currently represented by Rep. Walt Leger: Carling Dinkler (vice president of an investment firm), attorney Mandie Landry, attorney Robert McKnight of the Orleans Parish public defenders office and John Perry III. House District 98, which expands from the Riverbend through Audubon, the university area, Carrollton and Freret and is represented by Rep. Neil Abramson: attorney Evan Bergeron, Max Hayden Chiz, business consultant Aimee Adatto Freeman, environmentalist Marion “Penny” Freistadt, attorney Ravi Sangisetty, attorney Kea Sherman and charter-education activist Carlos Zervigon. Senate District 3, being vacated by Sen. J.P. Morrell: current District 100 state Rep. John Bagneris (D) and current District 97 state Rep. Joe Bouie (D).

Danae Columbus: House District 99 becomes battlefield for two former Zulu kings

State Sen. Wesley Bishop’s surprise announcement last Friday that he would not seek re-election has set the stage for a power struggle between two former Zulu kings — 2017 Zulu King Adonis Expose and 2016 Zulu King Jay Banks, a popular member of the New Orleans City Council and powerbroker of the BOLD political organization. After Bishop’s decision became public, State Rep. Jimmy Harris — whose current house district overlaps portions of Bishop’s Senate District 4 — staked his claim on Bishop’s seat rather than running for re-election in House District 99. Expose, a businessman and community organizer, quickly stepped up for what could have been an easily, winnable contest against L. Jameel Shaheer, a former firefighter with limited resources who had previously declared his candidacy to “help the community.” Instead, lawyer and long-time government operative Candace Nikeia Newell arrived at qualifying with several member of the BOLD political organization including Councilmember Banks. Clearly the battle lines were drawn. Wait, readers might say.

Suspect, 62, pleads guilty in 2017 killing of friend in Irish Channel home

A 62-year-old man pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday in the killing of his friend inside an Irish Channel home during a dispute in the summer of 2017, prosecutors said. Charles E. Jones, 62, is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Camille Buras next week, said District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office. Jones was scheduled for trial on a murder charge in the July 25, 2017, death of 69-year-old Raymond Webster Jr. in the 800 block of 4th Street. For details on Jones’ guilty plea, see the following news release from Cannizzaro’s office:
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (Aug. 7) secured a guilty plea and anticipates a 10-year prison sentence for a man who killed a friend two years ago while staying as a guest in the victim’s Irish Channel home.

11 candidates now seeking two open Uptown seats in state legislature

Four more candidates joined the hunt for two open seats representing Uptown New Orleans in the Louisiana state House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total to 11 contenders for the two positions. In District 91 — which runs from the Irish Channel through Milan and Broadmoor into Hollygrove and is currently represented by Rep. Walt Leger — John Perry III qualified to run on Tuesday afternoon. The current field for that seat now stands at four Democrats:

District 91: Carling Dinkler (vice president of an investment firm), attorney Mandie Landry, attorney Robert McKnight of the Orleans Parish public defenders office and John Perry III. District 98 — which expands from the Riverbend through Audubon, the university area, Carrollton and Freret and is represented by Rep. Neil Abramson — drew three new candidates late Tuesday, Marion “Penny” Freistadt, Max Hayden Chiz and Carlos Zervigon. Chiz does not yet appear to have an online presence for his campaign.

Man shot on Josephine Street; woman attacked and robbed on St. Charles, police say

A man was wounded in a shooting on Josephine Street and a woman was attacked and robbed of her cash on St. Charles Avenue overnight, New Orleans police said in Wednesday morning crime reports. A man in his 20s with multiple gunshot wounds showed up at a local hospital around 10 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 6), according to the initial reports. The shooting was reported to be in the 2800 block of Josephine Street (near Clara Street), and investigators found a vehicle there that had also been hit by bullets, the report states.

Open state legislature seats draw crowded fields as qualifying period begins

Several seats in the Louisiana state legislature will be vacant this year because their representatives are term-limited, and a crowd of contenders showed up Tuesday morning for the first day of the official qualifying period for the Oct. 12 election. Two of the most competitive elections in the Uptown area will be for state House of Representatives Districts 91 and 98, where both Reps. Walt Leger and Neil Abramson have served since 2007 and are now term-limited. District 91 covers a large band of neighborhoods from the Irish Channel through Milan and Broadmoor into Hollygrove.

Four alleged “T-Blocc” gang members indicted in racketeering case involving armed robberies and shootings, prosecutors say

Four men have been indicted in a 26-count racketeering case that spans armed robberies and shootings from Uptown and other New Orleans neighborhoods, prosecutors said Thursday. For details on the indictment, see the news release from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office below:

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Thursday (Aug. 1) announced his office has secured a special grand jury indictment charging four New Orleans men with violating the Louisiana Racketeering Act. The defendants are charged in a 26-count indictment with running a criminal gang enterprise involving auto burglaries, carjackings, shootings and armed robberies across New Orleans in the past 18 months. “These are some of the most brazen criminals our city has seen in some time,” Cannizzaro said.