Following the shooting death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith, public outcry about the city’s crime problem has grown dramatically. But, just back last year, the Hayride was mocked for pointing out that crime was out of control in the Big Easy.
Back in October of 2015, the Gambit published a piece that was clearly a reaction to a dozen reports from the Hayride, pointing out how Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration was obviously taking the situation with historical Civil War monuments more serious than the city’s crime epidemic.
At the time, the Gambit reported that the argument in which the Landrieu has not focused enough attention on crime because of the monuments situation was a “rhetorical straw man” argument pushed by “online commenters,” claiming it “has no basis in reality.”
The Gambit essentially argued that because the Landrieu administration and New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) held tons of press conference on crime, that equated to them fighting crime.
Of course, the Gambit’s claim actually had no basis in reality, as the Hayride pointed out that a number of city departments were involved with the monument removal process instead of solely being focused on crime.
Fast-forward to today, and it turns out, the city’s crime problem is out of control and is just being highlighted with the death of Smith.
Saints coach Sean Payton said earlier in the week that “the city is broken” and that particular areas of New Orleans resemble the “Wild West” days where men shot and killed each other freely in public.
Of course, Landrieu, the Gambit and the NOPD apparently, have all refused the facts of the city’s crime problem, with Landrieu saying yesterday that Smith’s death was not indicative of the city whatsoever.
Actually, the crime problem is much worse than has been reported by the New Orleans media.
In an exclusive analysis by the Hayride last year, New Orleans’ crime problem has been ticking back up to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels ever since the natural disaster ruined the city. Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was often referred to as the ‘Murder Capital of the South.’
In a Daily Mail analysis that local media outlets ignored, New Orleans was listed as one of the most violent cities in the world, and the fourth most violent American city, putting it ahead of cities in Mexico and Guatemala.
And in the most recent report from the US Justice Department, New Orleans was named the 12th most dangerous city in the country based off its violent crime statistics.
Already this year, there have been 32 murders across the city of New Orleans, as its murder rate last year ticked back up from previous numbers the year before.
The majority of the New Orleans public agrees with the Hayride‘s analysis of crime in the city.
In a recent University of New Orleans report, half the city said that crime was the biggest issue for the city. Crime is perceived slightly worse in the city than it was in 2013, with 53 percent saying that there is more crime now than there was three years ago.
For residents who are concerned about safety, 81 percent said they felt safe in their home during the middle of the day. But, that number dropped for night-time, with only 63 percent said they felt safe at night in their home.
Half of New Orleans residents said they have never heard gunfire in their neighborhood, while nearly a quarter of residents said they heard gunfire a few times a month or more often than that.