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|Black World Not Ours (Jan. 2002)|
|Keep Greed Alive (Dec. 2001)|
|Uncivil Wrongs (Sep. 2001)|
|More Phantom Racism? (Oct. 2000)|
|New York (Atro)city (Feb. 1996)|
|Racism Everywhere (Aug. 2000)|
|Chicago Still Stewing (Sep. 2001)|
|Tragedy or Farce? The Return of Marion Barry (Nov. 1994)|
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On a cool, clear mid-October weekend six people were murdered in New Orleans. The killings brought the tally of the slain in the Crescent City this year to 163, above the total of 162 for the entirety of 2006. The following weekend three more people were murdered in New Orleans — on Saturday alone. With nearly two full months left in the year, it is looking like the homicide rate in New Orleans will substantially outpace 2006’s near-record numbers, which themselves far eclipsed even gang-plagued, hopelessly violent cities like Compton, California.
Indeed, with a murder rate of nearly 70 per 100,000, New Orleans is now three times more dangerous than murder-plagued cities like Philadelphia (recently nicknamed “Killadelphia”) and Baltimore (home to HBO’s apocalyptically grim series The Wire). What’s happened?
The New Orleans police department’s top brass tends to place the blame for all of the city’s criminal justice woes on Katrina, but it’s well known that New Orleans was an extraordinarily dangerous place well before the hurricane made landfall. The crack cocaine wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s that made Washington, DC and New York City such hotbeds of street violence hit a particularly bloody crescendo in New Orleans.
During the mid-1990s New Orleans reigned as the nation’s murder capital, a frenzy of violence and drug dealing fomented in part by a police force that had grown almost irredeemably corrupt. Indeed, in 1994 federal prosecutors indicted 10 New Orleans cops on drug trafficking charges. More dramatically, that same year a New Orleans officer named Len Davis was charged with ordering the murder of a woman who had filed a police brutality complaint against him.
So, when Richard Pennington was sworn in as top cop in New Orleans in 1994, he made eradicating police corruption a top priority. Mr Pennington also emphasised community policing and insisted that the New Orleans police department (NOPD) focus on high crime areas (or “hotspots”). The so-called Pennington Plan was astonishingly effective in bringing down the murder rate in New Orleans. By the late 1990s, New Orleans not only finally began experiencing the significant crime declines that had been occurring in major metropolises like Los Angeles and New York City, it also had the largest decrease in crime among 50 major US cities.
But by the early 2000s, crime began rising in New Orleans again. After a failed mayoral bid in 2002, Mr Pennington was out as police chief-he is now top cop in Atlanta-and the long-suffering criminal justice system in New Orleans began collapsing.
In recent years, the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office has released hundreds of suspects under Article 701 of the Louisiana code of criminal procedure, which states that suspects cannot be held for longer than 60 days on felony arrest without an indictment. Reasons given for the lack of charges filed in 701 cases range from incomplete police reports to overburdened assistant district attorney’s who were simply not able to file an indictment before the 60-day period expired. Unsurprisingly, the city’s drug business began getting the message that felony crimes-even murder-would most likely end in a 701 release.
Pre-Katrina, there were a few hundred 701 releases per year. But after the storm, the trickle of 701 releases became a flood. In 2006 alone, there were nearly 3,000 such releases, a five- or six-fold increase over pre-flood levels.
Experts offer various explanations. Some cite the inexperience of Orleans Parish district attorney Eddie Jordan, who took office without ever trying a case in criminal court. Others cite inadequate case processing on the part of the New Orleans police department. In one quadruple murder, for example, a police report was a total of three pages.
Whatever the reason, 701-related laxity has become so common that New Orleans street hustlers have dubbed doing 60 days in jail for a killing a “misdemeanour murder.” This was no exaggeration: in addition to the thousands of suspects being released under Article 701, the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office secured just one conviction in the 162 murders committed in 2006. Worse still, the district attorney’s violent offenders unit (VOU) which handles the city’s most violent crime has recently been wracked by staff departures. Former prosecutors have publicly complained that they were forced to spend much of their time performing administrative tasks like photocopying.
Unsurprisingly, Mr Jordan — he finally resigned last week — attempted to portray the former prosecutors’ complaints as merely sour grapes. But when a small New Orleans-based non-profit organisation called “Silence is Violence” announced on October 1 that it would provide an administrative assistant to the VOU, it became clear that the district attorney’s office was indeed suffering from a profound lack of resources.
The district attorney’s office faced a severe crisis of confidence under Jordan. Dozens of former employees were recently awarded a $3.7m judgment in a race discrimination claim filed in federal court in 2003. The former employees (who are white) claim that Mr Jordan (a former federal prosecutor who is New Orleans’ first black district attorney) fired them because of their race. Mr Jordan asked New Orleans’ city council to add the amount of the judgement to his office’s 2008 budget so the sum can be repaid. Mr Jordan’s office also warned that if it does not receive help, his office could be “forced to close” and will be “without sufficient assistant district attorneys to prosecute approximately 2,500 cases, which are currently awaiting trial.”
The office is now run by interim district attorney Keva Landrum-Johnson, the first female district attorney in the history of New Orleans.
As the year comes to a bloody close, it seems that New Orleans is nearing the tipping point where it may become so violent that it is no longer livable at all. Certainly, the current murder rate is so high and the city’s population so low (around 250,000, well below pre- Katrina population of about 500,000) that a significant chunk of the city is already simply being killed off.
Incredibly, the killing fields of New Orleans do not appear to rank high as a concern among state and local officials. The mayor, Ray Nagin, has been silent in the face of the sort of mass killing that occurred and often dismissive of it. This summer, he told a group of reporters that the murder rate “keeps the New Orleans brand out there.”
The police chief, Warren Riley, isn’t much different. Earlier this year, after the back-to-back murders of Harvard graduate and independent filmmaker Helen Hill and jazzman Dinneral Shavers (who appeared in Spike Lee’s Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke), Mr Riley unveiled an anti-crime plan that was comprised of little more than random traffic stops. And Mr Riley was all-too-defensive recently when the New Orleans-based Metropolitan Crime Commission released a report urging the New Orleans police department to focus on violent offenders.
Perhaps the most serious blow to New Orleans’ ailing criminal justice system is the recent election of former Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal as Lousiana’s governor. Mr Jindal has boasted that he will turn New Orleans-which is already profoundly suffering from a lack of public resources-into a model of far right privatisation politics on such issues as education and healthcare.
So, New Orleans speeds along to the sort of wholesale destruction than even Katrina could not have wrought without anyone in major leadership positions stepping up to stop the bloodletting. “The trouble is,” University of New Orleans criminologist Peter Scharf told me recently, “there is no willing to stand up and say ‘This is f — -ing nuts.’”
(Posted on November 8, 2007)
How many Americans were killed in US Cities since 911? 100,000!
Posted by the Soviet Republic of New Jersey at 5:59 PM on November 8
All this good news is being reported…..by an ENGLISH newspaper. Where is the kum-bia crowd of goofy liberals hollering at the chocholate mayor to actually ‘do something’ about the crime issue? Where?
Posted by BadMonkey at 7:09 PM on November 8
“far right privatisation politics on such issues as education and healthcare.”
I guess Blacks and hispanics will have less kids (that survive anyway) as social programs are cut. Thus, Whites will pay less taxes, not have to put their kids in private school, have better mental health, and have more children.
Posted by at 7:47 PM on November 8
“Perhaps the most serious blow to New Orleans’ ailing criminal justice system is the recent election of former Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal as Lousiana’s governor. Mr Jindal has boasted that he will turn New Orleans-which is already profoundly suffering from a lack of public resources-into a model of far right privatisation politics on such issues as education and healthcare.”
That my friends, is what we call a leftist non-sequitur.
Posted by at 7:56 PM on November 8
I once heard a Marxist on C-Span talking about New Orleans. He was a typical American Marxist, a man who was obviously a New England patrician aristocrat who never in his life had to work or live in any situation other than complete luxury in an all-white New England gated community. He was claiming that the violence in New Orleans was a result of civilian gun ownership, Southern values and Christianity. He said that the only way to “bring peace” to the ignorant, backwards Southern states was to enact severe anti-gun laws and promote tolerance, diversity and Northern “values.” Never once did he comment on the huge number of black criminals although he repeatedly bashed Southern white males for being “racist.”
Look for this idiocy to rear its ugly head again as conditions in New Orleans and other Southern cities worsen. And of course these Marxists will want to disarm the few remaining Southern whites and probably Asians. Never once will they support any kind of disarmament among blacks and hispanics. They will also cry for an increased attack on those evil Southern values such as good manners, gentlemanly treatment of others and respect for private property as well a polite deportment balanced with a strong will of self-preservation, independence and self-defense.
Posted by Venom at 8:40 PM on November 8
Oh mah gosh! It HAS to be horrible for the British press to be scrutinizing OUR crime-plagued black cities. Perhaps this is a sneaky way of circumventing the politically correct, totalitarian watchdogs (themselves) and serving notice to the Brit’s as to what awaits them with their own insane, suicidal immigration policies. Ditto for being the only ones to cover Zimbabwe and South Africa AT ALL.
Posted by Voir Dire at 8:47 PM on November 8
The Guardian’s writer grudgingly mentions race only once (when describing Eddie Jordan), but tragically and misleadingly fails to mention race when it is most screamingly critical to do so when describing crime in New Orleans.
The fact is that it is impossible to talk accurately about violent crime in New Orleans (where I live) without addressing the common traits of the people affected by this crime, as well as those who perpetrate it.
New Orleans is not really that dangerous a city, unless you are a 19 year old black male involved in the drug trade. This is sad but true. Well over 90-95% of the victims of homicide in New Orleans fit somewhere into this category.
Please come to New Orleans to visit. If you’re not someone described in the paragraph above, you’ll have a great time in this wonderful city. The mainstream media’s credibility is greatly reduced in situations like these, when they refuse to reveal the real profiles of violent criminals and their victims.
Posted by GLB at 8:49 PM on November 8
No doubt the writer in Manchester writes from a position of perceived superiority, looking down at the problems of New Orleans as being the problems of others. It is likely though, that as once great England grows more and more “Black”, he will find those same problems to be his own.
Posted by Ronald at 9:03 PM on November 8
Did a bunch of Amish recently move in to this ” fair ” city or Scandinavian-Americans ? What other racial/ethnic groups could possible be responsible ? With all the anti-Christian white p.c. propaganda the last forty years, I can’t fathom any other options.
Posted by Michigan patriot at 9:21 PM on November 8
I think the state of Louisiana has given up on New Orleans, and I don’t blame them. Anybody who lives on the gulf coast can tell you New Orleans is a dump, and always has been.
Blacks can have their chocolate city, they have turned it into nothing more than a dirty, crime infested hellhole. They like to pretend as though it was always theirs, the same way they think Harlem always belonged to them, or Detroit always belonged to them. All three cities were once famous for their amazing architecture, and charm, all thanks to Whites. The Dutch built the famous old homes and hotels in Harlem, just as Germans and other Nothern Europeans designed the once glorious structures in Detroit. And it wasn’t Blacks who created New Orleans famous French/Spanish landmarks. They can however, take credit for destroying all of them.
Posted by at 10:08 PM on November 8
You realize that the idiots who cry that Katrina is responsible are absolutely correct. During the chaos, these people learned they could get away with anything. So, they do. It will take YEARS of intensified policing to bring back even the modicum of respect for law and order that there once was. Also, I wonder how many criminals all over the United States saw this happening on TV and went, yeehaw, I gots to get in on that! And took the next bus to Nahleans with nothing more than a suitcase full of drugs and a pistol stuck in their waistband.
Posted by at 10:31 PM on November 8
“As the year comes to a bloody close, it seems that New Orleans is nearing the tipping point where it may become so violent that it is no longer livable at all.”
RK: The National Guard is not set to pull out of New Orleans until January 2008, according to the MSM. This dork reporter failed to even mention their presence there now or the fact they were called in to patrol the streets. The last article I read said the police chief has requested they stay beyond the January deadline.
Of all the chaos this pitiful example for a journalist cited, it was obvious that he thought the worst was yet to come, because the state elected a conservative governor. Liberals are not only mentally disturbed, they’re not what one would deem overly bright either.
After the race riots that occurred in his area, the bombings of the buses, the ongoing discovery of home-grown radical muslims plotting to wreck havoc on the citizens there, the absolute chaos caused by the non-white criminals who control London, and the many imams who preach hostility and hatred against the UK, this clown obviously still thinks his diversity project is the best way to go and that the right’s insistence on homogeneity and law and order is a recipe for disaster.
Absolutely amazing. “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”
Posted by Robert Kelly at 11:36 PM on November 8
The guardian is the most left leaning newspaper in England, so why they would choose to highlight NO problems is a mystery. Perhaps they’re preparing us for our future.
Posted by watfordman at 12:29 PM on November 9
Eddie Jordan may be a big part of the problem. To be fair, former police chief Richard Pennington did make major improvements in the city’s crime rate. He’s black. He did a great job and it’s too bad New Orleans lost him.
Posted by Former NOLA resident at 1:07 PM on November 9
“Some cite the inexperience of Orleans Parish district attorney Eddie Jordan, who took office without ever trying a case in criminal court”
Typical of an affirmative action hire. Wonder who took his bar exam for him?
And when NO hires police officers who read at 2nd grade level and cannot write a 5 word sentence, what kind of police reports does one think they will write?
Posted by at 1:18 PM on November 9
“Former prosecutors have publicly complained that they were forced to spend much of their time performing administrative tasks like photocopying.”
Ever tried to ask an affirmative action agressive bully of a black woman clerk to do her job and make some photocopies? 3 hours of arguing, huffing and puffing and carrying on because she regards the request as a horrible infringement to spend her work day eating, gossiping, fighting with co-workers and making endless personal phone calls.
Posted by at 1:20 PM on November 9
Surprised this article is in the Guardian, sort of the Daily Worker of England.
Posted by at 1:22 PM on November 9
Isn’t this one of the reasons that Eddie Jordan recently decided to resign from his position as DA of New Orleans. When you put the inmates in control of the asylum, you get chaos and we’ve had the inmates in control of the majory asylums for years now and this is just another example of those who are not equipped to rule themselves.
Will any body say so? Not unless they want to lose their jobs and future pensions.
Posted by Gayle at 2:10 PM on November 9
NOPD seems an apt acronym for the New Orleans Police Department.
Posted by CSinAL at 3:17 PM on November 9
Former police chief Richard Pennington did a lot to lower perceived crime with creative paper work. It was all a lie but the fudged numbers looked good on paper. Real crime stayed about the same or got worst.
Posted by exnoer at 3:46 PM on November 9
I said this a long time ago….I wouldn’t live anywhere near New Orleans…I don’t think even rats will now…it’s suicide!!
Posted by lydia at 6:26 PM on November 9
What a wonderful social experiment!
Posted by lars at 8:07 PM on November 9
N.O.’s pre-Katrina crime rate was 5 times the average. I don’t know about now.
Posted by Cindy at 8:30 PM on November 9
New Orleans is the black version of a criminal terrorist enclave. Thugs badly outnumber the police, those of the police not on the take comprise the most poorly trained and motivated police force in the country. And in many sections of the city, murder has long been politics by other means.
Posted by Gary at 3:48 PM on November 10
“Former prosecutors have publicly complained that they were forced to spend much of their time performing administrative tasks like photocopying.”
Ever tried to ask an affirmative action aggressive bully of a black woman clerk to do her job and make some photocopies? 3 hours of arguing, huffing and puffing and carrying on because she regards the request as a horrible infringement to spend her work day eating, gossiping, fighting with co-workers and making endless personal phone calls.
Posted by at 1:20 PM on November 9
Oh boy, is that God’s own truth!! I worked with 2 - 5 black women at a time in a small office, and only one was worth a fraction of her paycheck - she was non-coincidentally 60 yrs old, quiet, professional, and married with a respectable and educated family (old-school respectable blacks). The others were ALL semi-illiterate, loud, obnoxious, greedy, constantly picking fights with productive co-workers, and spent all day gossiping with each other about their ghetto families who apparently consisted of felons and baby-mamas.
It was really quite incredible - they were the company diversity hires, of course, and were given simple tasks while the white and asian women did the real work. Regardless, most of the blacks didn’t even bother to complete their busy work, and at least 3 of them got caught actually HIDING unfinished paperwork in storage cabinets like some perverted Easter Bunny.
Once enough customers complained, the company finally got more careful about their hiring. I sure learned a lot in that job, though - the amount of chaos a few undereducated lazy blacks can create is MIND BOGGLING.
Posted by at 5:55 PM on November 10
” least 3 of them got caught actually HIDING unfinished paperwork in storage cabinets like some perverted Easter Bunny.”
For decades the flagship UCLA “best in the west” main hospital hired nothing but black men on parole and black ghetto mamas as medical records clerks. One of the most important parts of the job was to file loose papers in folders stored on the shelves.
One of these women used to get up on a ladder and hid unfiled loose papers in the ceiling. The ceiling was of course composed of tiles and aluminum supports. And one day the ceiling collasped and pounds and pounds of unfiled papers fell to the floor.
After that, the ghetto men and women took to carrying backpacks to work and toting all the unfiled loose papers home and dumping them in the garbage.
One audit showed the papers of no less than 11 different patients filed in one patients folder.
These are medical records needed in life and death situations when organ transplants fail, severely defective disfunctional babies are admitted etc. And the records are a mess. But no one can complain because it would be discriminatory and prejudicial against black ghetto people.
Posted by at 3:12 PM on November 11
“Former police chief Richard Pennington did a lot to lower perceived crime with creative paper work. It was all a lie but the fudged numbers looked good on paper.”
This is done all the time. Manslaughter is reported as “discharging a gun within city limits.” Armed robbery and assault and battery that causes great bodily injury is reported as a “simple robbery.” A horrible home invasion including torture is reported as “trespassing.”
Posted by margaret at 3:19 PM on November 11
New Orleans is still a nice place to visit if you stay in “the green zone”.
Posted by at 5:41 PM on November 11
If someone ACTUALLY came out and said what the real problems are, Peter Scharf and his ilk would be the first to demand that the evil racist have his head served up on a platter.
When the Liberal and Conservative establishment alike speak of Black pathology as being caused by welfare, racism, public housing, etc you know they aren’t relly serious about addressing the real problem.
The REAL problem is the Black race itself and how modern societies are to deal with a people that are thousands of years behind the rest of the human race evolutionwise.
Posted by at 11:36 AM on November 12
Wow. Give blacks something to run and it ends up looking just like Africa! Who would have imagined?
Posted by Michael C. Scott at 2:01 PM on November 12
“The mayor, Ray Nagin, has been silent in the face of the sort of mass killing that occurred and often dismissive of it. This summer, he told a group of reporters that the murder rate “keeps the New Orleans brand out there.””
Can you imagine any white mayor anywhere claiming that high rates of murder and other crimes are good for tourism? Only if the tourists you want to attract are murderers and other criminals. Nagin may be the dumbest mayor in US history — and that’s saying something in a country that’s seen the likes of Marion Barry in DC, David Dinkins in NYC, and Antonio Villa-Reconquista in LA.
When Katrina hit, the first statistic I noticed in the reporting was that NO was 2/3 black. I’d always known NO had a large black population, but hadn’t known it was that high. But after I learned that one simple fact, all the looting and mayhem and Superdome chaos made complete sense to me.
“Chocolate City” indeed.
Posted by at 7:41 AM on November 13
“He was a typical American Marxist, a man who was obviously a New England patrician aristocrat who never in his life had to work or live in any situation other than complete luxury in an all-white New England gated community. He was claiming that the violence in New Orleans was a result of civilian gun ownership, Southern values and Christianity. He said that the only way to “bring peace” to the ignorant, backwards Southern states was to enact severe anti-gun laws and promote tolerance, diversity and Northern “values.””
People like this man are soooo naive. Obviously, he forgets that there is plenty of crime in northern cities. Obviously, look at the black inner city areas of Detroit, Chicago, Philly and New Yawk. Furthermore, the legal gun owners are not the ones committing the crimes, these criminals in New Orleans get their guns illegally, that’s what criminals do. Taking away guns from law abiding citizens won’t do one bit of good because they are not the ones committing the crimes. Also, to say that christianity and southern values cause gun crime is absurd. Christians are not the ones committing these crimes and I’ll take southern values of good manners and such over northern ones any day. There is one reason why New Orleans has so much crimes — BLACKS!!!! That dumb new england marxist ought to be forced to go live in the inner city of New Orleans, that idiot would wake up real fast. Until then, why doesn’t he just shut up!!!!
Posted by at 7:53 AM on November 13