Orleans Parish DA Leon Cannizzaro Blasts Mitch Landrieu In Op-Ed

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has been a critic of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s policies on crime. He took those criticisms of Landrieu to the op-ed pages of the New Orleans Advocate.

Cannizzaro accused Mitch Landrieu of playing politics with New Orleans public safety.

For years, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has crafted a criminal justice policy that has repeatedly placed politics above public safety. The only objective of this policy has been to create the illusion of public safety, regardless of what is actually occurring on the streets. In so doing, he has ultimately endangered the citizens of New Orleans.

Cannizzaro also took issue with the claims that the current spike in crime is a recent problem.

I believe an aggressive enforcement strategy against violent criminals is a full-time job and not simply a talking point to be used in a news conference when a desperate citizenry is begging for assistance. To shift blame away from himself, the mayor went on to infer that the spike in violence and decline in solve rates have been caused by a lack of witness participation in the criminal justice system. He said, “We cannot do our job if people won’t come forward.”

 As I was watching this, I asked: Where has this mayor been and what has he been doing for the last six months? This is not a recent uptick. As of June 4, there have been 703 people shot in New Orleans in the past 12 months, which represents an almost 50 percent increase in less than a year. In one day alone last weekend, 13 people were shot and three were murdered.

What Mitch Landrieu in that past six months was working on Confederate monuments. He is using that issue to distract the city and the entire country from his failings as mayor.

Cannizzaro also took aim at the policy decisions of the mayor and the City Council that led to this surge in crime.

While the mayor claims that he wants a proactive police department, he repeatedly ignored the warnings of his former police chief that the extended hiring freeze would transform the NOPD from a proactive to reactive department. Under his administration, the mayor has allowed the manpower of the NOPD to atrophy.
He claims to want tougher enforcement policies while six short months ago, he led an effort to have the City Council slash the budget of the District Attorney’s office in an attempt to obstruct our ability to prosecute crimes of violence. During that effort, a council member, who moonlights as a criminal lawyer, described my office as a “bad actor” for prosecuting “too many cases.” I can only assume that the mayor agrees with this assessment. I must ask the mayor: What is the DA’s office supposed to do with these cases? Or, do your increased enforcement strategies end at arrest?

As The Hayride reported last month, the Metropolitan Crime Commission agree with Cannizzaro. They lay the blame for rising crime in New Orleans on Mitch Landrieu.

Leon Cannizzaro is right to lay the blame for rising crime on Mitch Landrieu. It was his policies that have contributed to the situation. I guess it must be time to take down some more monuments.

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