FAGAN: New Orleans Is An Inferno Right Now

New Orleans is on fire. No one wants to put it out.

Some neighborhoods have become free-for-alls for hoodlums. Cops arrest them and within hours they’re back on the streets as though nothing happened. The idea of holding violent lawbreakers accountable for their sins has become a joke in New Orleans.

A former NOPD cop told me Saturday night he quit the force after arresting the same criminals over and over. He said gang bangers knew they could get away with practically anything. They knew after being slapped into handcuffs they’d be out before the arresting officer’s shift ended. They treated cops accordingly.

This frustrated former cop was our waiter. He said he’d rather wait tables than work for a mayor who views police as the problem, while coddling, enabling, and treating violent lawbreakers as victims.

It’s not a stretch to argue the only ones flourishing in New Orleans are the deadly thugs. They torment and prey on the innocent. It’s turned neighborhoods into prisons filled with the terrorized. Their hope is they’re not the next carjacking or shooting victim — or worse, taking their last breath in an ambulance after being shot, never making it to the hospital.

“We’re worried about coming home at night in our car. I’m scared of taking my garbage out at night. I wish I could do it without thinking about it, but I can’t really, “Chris Carpenter of Gentilly recently told Fox 8 News.

The numbers are staggering.

Violent crime is up 150% this year over 2020 in the 3rd New Orleans District where Carpenter lives. No wonder he is always looking over his shoulder.

A recently released Metropolitan Crime Commission report found that during the first six months of this year compared to the first half of the past two years, the city has had a shocking explosion in violent crime since the tax-dodging Latoya Cantrell became mayor.

Shootings are up an astounding 450% in New Orleans’ 8th District, which is made up of the French Quarter and the Warehouse District.

It was only a matter of time before the out-of-control violence in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods spilled over onto areas crucial to our city’s lucrative tourist economy.

In New Orleans 5th District, comprised of St Roch, the Lower Ninth Ward, Holy Cross, Marigny, the Seventh Ward, and the Desire neighborhood, carjackings are up 223% over last year.

Across the city, carjackings doubled this year, and they’re up 180% over 2019. Sitting in your vehicle at a stoplight is a scary proposition in New Orleans. Drivers look all around, keep their doors locked, and are always ready to hit the gas.

New Orleans has long been a city where it’s easy to get away with murder. Three quarters of the city’s homicides don’t result in an arrest. The city’s homicides are up a combined 75% this year over 2019.

All this carnage happened in the past two years with streets often abandoned and deserted, thanks to severe lockdowns mandated by the freedom-killing Mayor Cantrell. Can you imagine how bad it would have been with streets full of potential victims?

It’s almost impossible to be optimistic for the future of the state’s most notorious city. The word has been out for some time nationally and globally New Orleans is an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly place to live and visit, and yet tourists still seem to come.

With violence exploding at its current pace and spilling over to tourist areas, New Orleans tourism faces an existential threat.

The citizens of New Orleans don’t seem to care. The bloodshed continues to flow and grow and yet most are poised to vote to reelect Cantrell and, as a result, appear to endorse her criminal coddling ways.

Voters just elected a District Attorney, Jason Williams, even though they knew he was under federal indictment for tax fraud. The feds say Williams falsified documents to get out of paying $200,000 in taxes.

Williams has a reputation as being lenient and mostly unwilling to try the cases of violent career criminals.

How could a violence- and crime-infested city elect a D.A. most likely headed to prison? It boggles the mind.

A friend told me she donated blood at the New Orleans Blood Bank and that they are experiencing record-low supply of blood. She asked why. The nurse answered: All the shootings.

Will the people of New Orleans eventually grow weary of being targeted by hard-hearted thugs operating unchecked and unchallenged?

Dan Fagan is a radio talk show host and columnist. Email:[email protected]  

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