Mayor Mitch Landrieu made it clear this past week he believes climate change is man-made and he scolded those who ignore the connection. Then he said climate change is a real and present danger to his city. Let’s talk about a real and present danger.
Friday night a couple hundred people gathered in Mid-City when all of sudden shots rang out. Cops were just down the street. It didn’t matter. Bullets were popping like firecrackers on July 4th. People were running for their lives. There was chaos, screaming, ducking, and panic. One mother cries out, “I just want to see my baby. I just want to see my baby.”
Five ended their night in the hospital with a bullet. Three of the five are headed to the morgue. Overall 13 people were shot this weekend in New Orleans. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
It’s really bad right now. Seems worse than ever. Gone are the days when those getting shot were mostly drug fiends looking to short-change a dealer or dealers guarding their territory. No, it’s much worse now.
Now you can be driving along minding your own business and a bullet could come flying your way. Last week a stray bullet hit a woman driving on I-10 in New Orleans East. She thought a tire blew out. She’s driving along and bam! Her hand is bleeding. It could have been much worse.
If only this were rare. It isn’t. Twenty people have caught bullets with their car on I-10 in New Orleans since 2016. Twenty people! Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
Carjackings are up. Way up. Four were carjacked Wednesday night. 9 total in a 72-hour stretch. Nine! If the light turns red, be cautious. Danger could be near. Have you seen the map showing all the carjackings in New Orleans? It’s terrifying. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
We’ve had 82 murders as of this writing this year alone. The depleted, demoralized, and overworked homicide detectives are swamped. They’ve only cleared 13 murders. That’s 22 percent. Under Mayor Mitch the clearance rate for homicides goes down each year. 43 percent in 2014, 35 percent in 2015, and 27 percent in 2016. Nationally, the homicide clearance rate is 62 percent. Think on that for a minute. They are getting away with murder in The Big Easy. Literally. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
300 people have caught bullets this year in New Orleans. That’s way ahead of last year. It wasn’t until August of last year we saw 300 shot. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission looked at all this and found Mayor Mitch at the heart of the problem blaming his hiring freeze of cops when he was first elected.
When Mayor Mitch came to power NOPD was 1,500 strong. The department is now down to around 1,100 as bullets fly and emergency rooms fill up. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
Saturday Mayor Mitch said, “It occurs to me all time when we have difficult circumstances, when people get afraid, get uneasy with each other, we tend to point figures. But blame is a pathway to nowhere. Responsibility is always a pathway to a solution.”
Agreed, Mayor Mitch. But the buck stops with you. We are where we are under your watch.
Thanks to the monument fiasco we have never been more divided. And now crime is out of control. Climate change is a real and present danger to his city, says Mayor Mitch.
Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. You can reach him at [email protected]