The ongoing crime crisis in New Orleans has been laughably referred to as an “uptick” in the rate of violence. Instead, there is a titanic explosion of violent crime that has overwhelmed the police and the entire criminal justice system. Compared to last year, the rate for murder and armed robbery is up over 75%. For carjackings, the increase is astronomical, at 150% and climbing.
To make matters worse, the voters of New Orleans just elected Councilman-at-large Jason Williams as the new District Attorney. This means the law-and-order emphasis of current District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro will be replaced by “criminal justice reform” initiatives of Williams. He was proudly endorsed by a bevy of progressive organizations and received massive funding from organizations tied to the favorite donor of the far left, George Soros.
Under the new Williams regime, his office will undoubtedly release more criminals back onto the already crime-filled streets of the city. Williams will make an already horrible situation much worse in New Orleans. How bad is the crime in New Orleans? In just the last day, there was a shooting on I-10, a triple shooting and double murder in Algiers, a stabbing death in the Central Business District, a slew of car jackings, multiple women were robbed unloading groceries in the Uptown area, and there were six armed robberies in the Garden District.
To show how depraved the condition has become in New Orleans, some wacko was captured on video sexually abusing several of the horses at the City Park stables. Nothing is safe in New Orleans, not even the animals.
The crime situation is so horrendous that an emergency meeting was called yesterday involving representatives of the Louisiana State Police, the FBI and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). As these law enforcement agencies try to find answers, it may be helpful to understand the root causes of the crime problem in New Orleans. The high rate of crime has always been caused by a combination of broken families, terrible public schools, a lax criminal justice system and a horrible economy.
What is driving this current explosion of crime is that the already poor economy is now much worse thanks to COVID-19 and atrocious leadership. Under the guise of fighting COVID-19, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, both liberal Democrats, decided to destroy the tourism and hospitality industries, the lifeblood of the local economy.
With no jobs, more people are turning to drugs and crime. Sadly, there are fewer police officers to corral these criminals as the NOPD has instituted a pay cut and is furloughing officers. This year, over 90 officers have left the NOPD and the outflow will get even worse in the months ahead.
Thus, New Orleans will be led by a super progressive Mayor and a far-left District Attorney. With a destroyed economy and a weakened police department, citizens can expect the crime eruption to continue.
Instead of showing leadership and working 24/7 to deal with the anemic economy and the crime crisis, Mayor Cantrell has been focusing on battling COVID-19 with draconian executive orders. She particularly loves telling New Orleans residents what they can do and when they can do it.
Incredibly, one Christian group defied her orders and recently held a worship rally in the French Quarter. Well-known singer Lauren Daigle was riding her bike, saw the event and was asked to participate. The Mayor was furious at Daigle and all those who organized the event. All of this is quite ironic, for Cantrell regularly allows left-wing protests and large social gatherings on Claiborne Avenue.
When Cantrell heard that Daigle might be asked to perform at an ABC-TV New Year’s Eve concert in New Orleans, she sprang into action and sent a stinging letter to Dick Clark Productions demanding that Daigle not be allowed to perform to a national audience. Thus, the invitation was not extended to Daigle, so there will be no participation of the Lt. Governor’s office, no $500,000 grant to pay for the event and no worldwide exposure for New Orleans. Nice work, Mayor Cantrell!
All of this was triggered because the Mayor demands everyone wear masks and not gather in large groups. Supposedly, the attendees at the worship rally did not wear masks, causing Cantrell to explode in anger. If only she was so exercised by the criminals roaming the streets of New Orleans.
Speaking of streets, the emphasis is not on safe streets, but changing the names of streets. A woke, politically-correct committee of progressives has highlighted the names of dozens of streets and parks to change. It seems these streets and parks were named after racists, Confederates and horrible people who did not measure up to the committee’s 2020 politically correct standards.
As the leaders of New Orleans attack Christian singers and change street names, they seem to have little time to deal with the economic and public safety crisis in their city. In New Orleans, it is easier to get distracted by nonsense like removing monuments and changing street names than doing the real work of improving the living conditions in the city.
Not one citizen in New Orleans was given a job, a safer neighborhood or better infrastructure when the names of American heroes such as George Washington were removed from public schools in the 1990’s. Similarly, when four Confederate monuments were eradicated in 2017, life in New Orleans did not improve. These foolhardy measures were virtue signaling but did not make New Orleans any better.
This year, city leaders are focusing on condemning Christian singers and removing street names while more tax paying citizens and businesses continue to leave. Mayor Cantrell cannot be bothered to deal with a criminal justice and economic catastrophe, she is too busy writing to ABC about the horrible “crimes” of Lauren Daigle.
The real blame lies with the voters of New Orleans who elected these pathetic “leaders.”
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs nationally on Real America’s Voice Network, AmericasVoice.News weekdays at 7 a.m. CT and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at [email protected]