A Murder in New Orleans

Over the weekend a much beloved bartender named Wendy Burns was murdered on a French Quarter street. Wendy was apparently shot to death during an armed robbery.

The murder occurred in the Lower Quarter, a mostly residential section of the French Quarter that has been beset by a staggering number of armed robberies in the past couple of years.

I just recently moved from the Lower Quarter after living there for about one year and a half. I moved in part because I was very weary of constantly feeling like a target, no matter the time of day. [More...]

I hated to move because the Lower Quarter is a wonderful place to live--there are great bars, lots of beautiful architecture and it's far from the insanity of the more touristy parts of the Quarter.

Still, it's often unsettling in its quiet. Armed robbers take advantage of the lack of foot traffic by preying on the area nearly 'round the clock. Last year, I witnessed a brutal mugging--at 11AM, no less.

NOPD crime stats are notoriously unreliable but a local crime blogger estimates that in 2008 there were 179 robberies in the 8th District--which includes the French Quarter and the Business District--compared with 163 robberies in the previous year. The numbers are, to put it mildly, awful.

Now, one would think that an epidemic of armed robberies would be of great concern to local law enforcement. As Wendy's death demonstrates, an armed robbery can easily end in murder.

But here's the awful truth: under Superintendent Warren Riley, the NOPD does little to combat violent crime like armed robbery. According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, from January 2007-June 2008, over half of all arrests were for traffic and municipal offenses. Worse, according to the MCC arrests for violent felonies "accounted for 10%" of state arrests during the January 07-June 08 period.

When local law enforcement defends this abysmal performance--if they bother to defend it at all--they claim that they're unable to make arrests related to violent crime because citizens do not cooperate. This defense represents nothing more than a distraction to the NOPD's tragic inability to do ANYTHING about violent crime.

Indeed, late last year my wife was robbed at gunpoint along with a friend of ours and his wife. Our friend happens to be a criminal defense attorney and he wrote about his experiences attempting to assist the NOPD in solving the crime here.

Here's what happened: a cell phone stolen during the robbery was left on by one of the robbery's victims so that they robbers could be caught if they were stupid enough to make calls on the phone. Someone was indeed dumb enough to use the phone but the NOPD's follow-up in the case has been profoundly weak.

I have had enough of DA's, US Attorneys, the NOPD brass, etc scolding New Orleanians for not cooperating with law enforcement. New Orleanians march against crime. New Orleanians fast against crime. New Orleanians have even begged fellow citizens who have been crime victims to come forward with incidents in which they have been ignored by the NOPD leadership so that this might somehow rouse them to do their jobs.

None of these efforts have worked. Every quarter--every year--we get the same awful performance by local law enforcement. Huge numbers of arrests for non violent drug offenses. Very few arrests for violent crime. Abysmal conviction rates in murder cases. And then finally and most infuriatingly, New Orleanians get blamed for this disaster.

But I will not play into this vicious, stupid cycle anymore and I encourage New Orleanians to do the same. I will not pretend that law enforcement is doing anything to stop the violence until they prove otherwise.

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    I remember (none / 0) (#1)
    by JamesTX on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:28:28 AM EST
    stumbling into some of those areas of the quarter when traveling. My companion and I just kept walking around looking at those old buildings (which are now apartments) and thinking how nice it would be to live there. Somebody stopped us, obviously recognizing we were outsiders who didn't realize where we were. The guy told us in no uncertain terms that we should get out of there immediately. He even walked us back to the tourist area.

    I was never impressed by NOPD. It seems no good news whatsoever comes out about that group. When I encounter them in person, I always feel extremely intimidated. They just don't give off the vibes of being legitimate public officials. They seem to be very threatening in demeanor, unfriendly, and unhelpful. I understand they have a long history of corruption and overt racism, not to mention violence.

    Law enforcement in southern LA has always given me the chills. I spent a lot of time down there on business trips. I always chalked up my discomfort to cultural differences, as that area has traditionally been isolated and has a very distinct culture of its own. I have always thought I was just misinterpreting a style of interaction which was normal, but I was just unfamiliar with it. But the more I learn, the more I think there is good reason they make me uncomfortable. Its not the people that make me uncomfortable. Its the cops.

    One-way conversations. (none / 0) (#2)
    by JamesTX on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:27:18 AM EST
    Sothern states in his article that he "...was barely able to hold the attention of the police officer...". That is a common problem in dealing with law enforcement nowadays. It is a change that I have watched grow into an almost insurmountable barrier to communication with police. It started when the conservative movement began to imbue police with unlimited power over citizens. When you have absolute power over a person, there is no longer any motivation to listen to them; there is no motivation to provide them with common conversational courtesies, such as letting them finish sentences. What the powerless person says is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that the powerless person complies with the officer by immediately surrendering whatever information the officer seeks. When the information the officer wants is spilled, there is no need to even let the civilian finish the sentence. It is typical of the way people "talk" to animals.

    The police are now trained to not let any civilian control them in any way. That attitude of dominance extends to being in complete and unquestionable control of the conversation. This is particularly true, for obvious political reasons, when talking with citizens who have the outward appearance of being below about the 70% percentile in income. Conversations with police under such circumstances are therefore not really conversations. The communication is one way, and the civilian's part of the conversation is irrelevant. That is what absolute power leads to. That is why I am reluctant to call them about anything, because there is no way to know how they will respond, or whether they will even listen long enough to hear the problem I am seeking help about. They will interpret the situation in accordance with their policies and in whatever way they want. What I say doesn't matter and probably will not even be heard, unless some fragmentary utterance can be used against me. When that is the case, there really isn't much reason to call them for anything. We call police because we have a problem, not to be evaluated by a paramilitary interrogator who is trained to ignore your "verbal behavior" and to look for something that fits what they are predisposed to do.

    Sounds like the citizens... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:23:36 AM EST
    need to get even more involved...not with the police, but with their community to find their own solution.  Community watch programs or some other kind of self-policing.  I mean if the cops don't care, or if the cops scare you more than the crooks, you gotta do what you gotta do.  I know I see to my own security in my home and my neighborhood...owning a guard dog for the crib and keeping my wits about me out on the street.  

    Good point (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:59:28 AM EST
    Our police everywhere are a device to capture criminals after the crime has been committed. And I don't think anyone here wants the police trying to prevent crimes by profiling, stopping, etc.

    Are drugs an issue you? You bet.


    I believe in legalization of pot, but.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by jerry on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:24:42 AM EST
    Huge numbers of arrests for non violent drug offenses.

    Is there anything behind the argument that it's the drug offenders who are the robbers, robbing for money for the drugs?

    One of the claims of the drug legalization movement, I think, is that it should cut down on crime....

    I have no knowledge of any of this, and find your post interesting, and wish you and New Orleans the best.

    My understanding is... (none / 0) (#5)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:51:10 AM EST
    that if drugs were legalized and controlled, the price would be minimal. No one would need to rob to pay for them. And as far as violence is concerned, that occurs when people are desperate to obtain drugs so that they can at least feel normal.

    Of all the drugs I have heard of and witnessed, the only one that I have seen provoke a violent reaction is alcohol. And that, as we all know, is legal and accessible. I have no problem with that, but the hypocrisy surrounding the prohibition of cannibus or even heroin is galling.  Pot does nothing but relax people and encourage them to enjoy each other's company.

    When will this insanity end?
    To figure this out, I think we have to follow the money.
    Who profits most from the status of illegality?
    Who is victimized by the status of illegality?


    Then I'm assuming you haven't seen (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by OldCity on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:39:01 AM EST
    anyone coked up, on crack, angel dust or having smoked "wet".  Let me tell you, people in those conditions are wayyyy violent.  Even better, they turn to more violence to obtain funds to purchase said substances.  And, their dealers use violence to preserve their market shares.  

    There's something to be said for the fact that  countries that liberalized drug laws are now revisiting the idea, and becoming more restrictive.  Obviously, outright legalization or permitted use isn't the answer they thought it would be.  

    Narcotics are harmful.  Anything that is addictive carries a social cost.  Alcohol, tobacco...they are horrible for the addict and the addicts families and associates, not to mention the cost of healthcare.  

    So, the idea that we'll not have any problems if we simply legalize and regulate those outlandishly addictive substances needs a little work.  

    I spent 4-5 days a month in NO for years.  The town is wedded to excess, and it's always been a drug supermarket.  Drugs aren't the reason for robberies...it's the economic destruction of the area, thanks to our outgoing WPE.  Sooner or later, governments will figure out that social order costs money, and that's the one thing NO doesn't have.


    I've smoked dust... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:49:18 AM EST
    I didn't get violent, I got stupid...and never smoked it again. I'll never understand how anybody finds dust enjoyable, but to each their own if they can do it without getting violent.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:54:28 AM EST
    I concur. Nasty stuff, second best option to a surgical lobotomy.

    I have seen (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 01:24:22 PM EST
    people "coked up" and smoking "crack".

    I never saw them be violent. I'm not saying you didn't. I'm just saying I never did.

    What you said, "... they turn to more violence to obtain funds to purchase said substances.  And, their dealers use violence to preserve their market shares", are my thoughts exactly.

    I do believe that legalization and control is an answer.
    People who need to or wish to consume these products could do so easily and at minimal expense. There would no longer be "dealers".

    I am influenced my life experience which has seen two close friends die because of drugs. It is awful that they became dependent, but that's not what killed them. One died because he didn't know the strength of what he was ingesting. No control.
    The other died of damage done to his body by alcohol which is the means of choice for those trying to "kick" on their own.


    Where you lose me (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by OldCity on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 02:12:35 PM EST
    is that you're not saying how you think we'll deal with all the addicts?  Who will pay for their treatment(s)?  

    How will we resolve the inconsistency of requiring prescriptions for some drugs, but yet allow people to utilize even more dangerous substances at their leisure?  Or the aggressive push to ban smoking?  You don't see any hypocrisy there?

    I've been robbed by cracked out people.  Idon't recommend the experience.  I've had junkies break into my car; not so great either.  Guess what?  If the drugs are legal, they're not going to be any less addictive.  People with proclivity towrds addiction aren't going to become miraculously resistant.  Pot is one thing...the others?  C'mon.

    The Netherlands is dialing back because permissiveness certainly didn't ease the drug problem in that country...it's worse.  



    Around and around (none / 0) (#23)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:14:57 PM EST
    Don't you think that if people could buy the heroin they need for, say 15cents, or a dollar which is what it could sell for if legal, that they would not be going around robbing people and breaking into cars?

    Addiction is one problem.
    The only way that can be treated is by educating people, or by psychological counseling, or by people just growing older and maturing. People could pay for any treatments themselves - the way that people pay for psychiatrists. If heroin were legal, the addict could reduce dosages gradually and scientifically and avoid the pangs of withdrawal.

    But that is a separate problem from the legalization of some substances that are addictive.
    Gluttony is additive behavior. It kills people.

    But we're going around in circles.

    I'm not for addictions of any kind. Even political junkiedom.

    I'm just saying that the system now punishes the addict and causes criminal behavior from people who would ordinarily be going about their business. It is also a tremendous diversion of law enforcement - arresting people for possession.

    In the Netherlands, pot isn't sold, as it should be, in a neighborhood pharmacy - or the equivalent of a liquor store.
    It is associated with coffee-shops, rock music and a funky ambience; It is associated with something skuzzy. No wonder the Amsterdammers are conflicted about it.

    If they just sold the stuff in a regular store without the anti-social trappings, it would be at least a rational approach.


    Or Target? Starbucks?

    It is skuzzy, only skuzzy stores would sell it.


    Walmart sells tobacco... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:37:43 PM EST
    Walmart sells ammunition...why not reefer?  

    If they can make a nice margin on it, I think they will sell anything legal that people want to buy.  My gas station sells hardcore pronography, for example...I don't know the owners feelings on hardcore pron, I just know he must make money on it or else he wouldn't sell it.


    Why not? Because they're not the same. (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:46:49 PM EST
    Cigs & ammo do not equal pot - at least not to too many Walmart shoppers for Walmart to take a chance on stocking it if it were legalized, imo.

    Pot would mainly be sold in "skuzzy" headshops, imo of course.


    Perhaps... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:54:18 PM EST
    societal views would have to change before Wal-mart would sell it...not that cheap crap from China and Bugler Tobacco is held in such high societal esteem these days:)

    Scuzzy head shop, Whole Foods, the local produce stand, the liquor store...makes no difference to me as long as the cuffs don't get slapped on the seller and buyer.  


    I also think lentinal's expectation (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:26:38 PM EST
    of 15 cent heroin to be way off the mark.

    Rice is 15 cents because 180 gazillion tons of it are produced every year. And it's producers don't (publicly, anyway) participate in "skuzzy" businesses.

    If heroin were legalized, likely the same - or the same type of - people who run the heroin trade now would continue...


    Right (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 04:34:07 PM EST
    It would not be 15 cents it would be free.

    That's a bit cheap... (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:00:33 PM EST
    and you can't forget taxes, which will be high...extremely high.  In NY, the state is making more per pack of Marlboros than Philip Morris and the retailer combined, heroin/reefer/cocaine would be no different. Though the cost of production is very low for cocaine and heroin, and extremely low for reefer, I think you'd see bigger profit margins, high taxes, and the cost would come down less than 50%, say 25% or so...my guess.

    As to skuzziness, that would go away over time I think.  Speakeasies were once skuzzy, now, in all but dry counties, I think they are considered legitimate businesses that can be skuzzy or classy depending on the clientele.  By me you have the classy bars and the skuzzy dives.  The classy liquor stores with all the fine wines and the shady joints that sell pints through bulletproof glass.  (BTW, the company in the skuzzy joints is often preferable, imo:)  

    If heroin was legalized, I don't think drug cartels would go legit.  The mafia didn't go legit once prohibition was repealed, they found other black market revenue opportunities.  The cartels would too.  Though I guess some might, look at Joe Kennedy.


    I dunno, heroin is a prescription drug (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    in a few countries. Does it not come from basically the same producers/traffickers that the black market heroin comes from?

    Don't know... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:00:38 PM EST
    Good question. Does the guy who actually tends the crop, the farmer, does he care who's buying as long as they're buying though?  

    As a legal import, you could put it on a ship with all the other Afghani exports...who needs a trafficker?


    Good point. (none / 0) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:04:21 PM EST
    I wonder who pays thegrower more, the trafficker or the gvt of the Netherlands?

    Right (none / 0) (#42)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:39:16 PM EST
    One thing to consider is that the government controls, or at least influences, what is perceived as skuzzy or wholesome.

    As you mentioned, speakeasys were skuzzy. Now, when booze is legal and taxed, there are high-class bars. The New York Times has been running front-page articles on how different people prepare their cocktails. "Crush the lemon peel first, then....."

    How about gambling?
    In rat-holes and back alleys. Disgusting.
    Now in palaces.
    Poker - now a "sport" on t.v. brought to you by Betty Crocker.

    The "numbers racket" = skuzzy.
    Lotto = wholesome.


    Doubt It Even If Legal (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:53:11 PM EST
    They only sell music with sanatized lyrics. Walmart will do as the right wing christians tell them.

    Wal-Mart is the nation's leading seller of pop music, accounting for nearly 9% of the total domestic music CD sales. In a daring move, the mega-merchant has drawn a line regarding the kind of music it will and will not sell to its customers. The chain's buyers are refusing to stock music with lyrics and artwork it deems objectionable.



    True... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:02:25 PM EST
    Walmart is an odd, politicized, christianified case.  

    The one near me (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 05:39:02 PM EST
    last time I looked had like four different time-to-bomb-Iran-cuz-the Raptures comin' books by different authors in their book department.

    And this is in Western NY.


    Pot is not skuzzy (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:24:08 PM EST
    People could grow it in their own flower pots.

    It is a plant.

    If you want to get sappy about it, you could say that the Lord made it. It does not need processing. It is time-honored. It makes people feel sociable. It puts one in contact with nature. It's nice to listen to music by. And it goes well with good food. It also may have curative properties.

    There is absolutely no good reason at all that it is criminalized.

    And - by the way - many many moons ago - until the mid-thirties, marijuana was legal in the good old U.S.A. Part of the reason it became criminalized is that it was associated with black people. Another great American story.


    Selling pot is skuzzy (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:29:12 PM EST
    as far as Walmart/Target/Starbucks/etc are concerned. Almost assuredly so for their stockholders as well. imo.

    Mexicans Too (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:29:37 PM EST
    Part of the reason it became criminalized is that it was associated with black people.
    Also Mexicans

    You're right (none / 0) (#44)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:42:46 PM EST
    Just wondering (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 08:56:12 AM EST
    Is there a racist element to the incompetence or indifference of the police in protecting people in the Lower Quarter?

    To what do you attribute their abysmal performance?

    I was also wondering how the use of the stolen cell phone would have revealed the identity of the caller. Wouldn't it just appear as your phone number? Would the police have be able to triangulate the location of the phone if they had been interested enough to do so?

    racist? (none / 0) (#43)
    by diogenes on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:40:57 PM EST
    If the police caught and jailed all the robbers, then you'd say that the "system" is racist because a disproportionate number of black men end up in prison.

    Actually... (none / 0) (#46)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:54:52 PM EST
    I was asking Ethan Brown, because I don't know, whether most of the crime victims were members of minorities.

    In certain cities, New York for example, as recently as a few decades ago, the police presence in minority areas was minimal.
    I have read that in certain areas of Chicago that is still the case.

    I was asking Ethan Brown if he had any ideas about what the reason was for the lack of police protection in the Lower Quarter.


    According to wiki, (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:49:07 PM EST
    when the police become (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:02:02 AM EST
    the criminals, attempting to deal with them is a pointless waste of valuable time, time you'll never recover. in the case of NOLA specifically, that's historically been the case. remember harry connick, sr. (yes, jr's dad), among the most corrupt DA's ever seen since the LA purchase.

    corruption flows from the top; the bush administration's had 8 years to send it downhill, through a justice dept. made nothing so much as a huge, hot, steamin' pile o' ineptitude and politically motivated prosecutions. a disaster so huge, it required more than a cast of 1,000's to accomplish. sadly, it will take years to fix.

    last time i checked, very few pot smokers were out committing crimes to support their habit. the only violent activity they engage in, for the most part, is tripping on a sidewalk, and injuring themselves. since pot arrests acct. for the bulk (around 80%) of non-violent drug arrests, legalizing it will, statistically, have little (if any) discernible impact on the level of drug-related violent crime.

    Hey you forgot (3.50 / 2) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:46:35 AM EST
    the evileeee Bush conjuring up Katrina!

    CP, Bush be gone. Quit complaining. Tell us how Obama is going to fix these problems??


    If the police are ineffective... (none / 0) (#13)
    by toasterlocker on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 12:02:30 PM EST
    Why do people not choose to defend themselves?  Last I checked it is legal to carry a pistol in Louisiana, and fairly easy to obtain a permit.  I'm not saying a handgun is some magical shield against crime, but it is a wise addition to other methods of self-defense.

    I'm not defending NOPD by any means, as they are clearly not measuring up.  But even if they make a 100% turnaround, the police can still not be everywhere.  People need to take it upon themselves to protect their own safety and security.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    I abhor guns and would never carry one, but when I used to work in a particularly bad neighborhood I'd carry a bike chain with me for self defense.  There is no defense like self-defense.

    sigh...... kdog, what am I going to do wiith you (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 01:18:24 PM EST
    Never bring a chain to a gun fight.

    I wasn't going to a fight... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 01:40:13 PM EST
    I was going to work.

    If trouble ever really found me I'd be outgunned, no doubt...but I prefer that to the chance of accidentally shooting somebody.  It's almost impossible to accidentally rap somebody upside the head with a bike chain...I prefer those odds.

    Otoh, if society really starts to crumble I'd have to revisit my objections to firearms and possibly get one....but it ain't that bad, at least by me and at least not yet.


    I ambled into the Lower Quarter one evening (none / 0) (#15)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 12:28:13 PM EST
    with a friend.  We were trying to get away from the noise of Bourbon Street and loved this area.  The architecture is wonderful and there was a kind of peace and tranquility to it.  However, I noticed there seemed to be no one else on the street until we spotted a few police officers.  They quickly approached us and told us this was definitely not a place for tourists.  They said it was dangerous and led us back to Bourbon Street.  I was amazed;  it seemed so nice and Bourbon Street is well, Bourbon Street.  

    So sad to hear about this murder.  I think it would take people from this area to really know what the heck is going on there.  I can say it was the police themselves who led my friend and me away.  They were courteous and professional but firm so I heeded their advice.  

    Sure, there're lots of beautiful homes and tree-lined streets and lots of jammin' bars and clubs, but you can find that in 100's of other places in the US and you won't find anywhere near the level of violent crime (nor the level of 2" cockroaches) in many/most of those other places.

    Here's my very practical suggestion to NO residents, paraphrasing Sam Kinison, "Move to where the criminals aren't!"

    Your life may well depend on it.

    NOLA is in a class all its own (none / 0) (#18)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 01:20:26 PM EST
    I have seen nothing like in in the USA.  Its smells; its vistas; its sounds-nothing to compare, IMHO.  

    Yes, I forgot about NO's smells. (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 01:27:16 PM EST
    They are in a class all it's own...

    Robberies-drugs (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ethan Brown on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 03:45:21 PM EST
    In response to a few commenters: most of the robberies are not committed by addicts looking to pay for a fix. Indeed, the vast majority of armed robbers are classic stick up kids looking for an easy few bucks.

    They're well aware, too, of how little attention is paid to violent crime by the NOPD so they have little worry of ever being caught and, as a result, they'll basically stroll through the Quarter picking off victims.

    Indeed, some of the preliminary info we're hearing about the robbers responsible for Wendy's murder indicates that they had robbed someone else in the neighborhood before encountering her. It's not unusual to have pairs of armed robbers hit 4-6 separate sets of victims in a single night...

    Re: carrying weapons to protect yourself, Louisiana is an "open carry" state.


    But after talking with a few cops, I've realized that simply carrying a weapon isn't enough. You're not gonna be able to scare off a mugger, for example, by pulling out a Glock. You're gonna have to use that Glock because the presence of a weapon is not enough to frighten off criminals down here. Sad but true.

    One of the things I remember from so many (none / 0) (#38)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:19:22 PM EST
    post-Katrina interviews with former NOLA residents who fled to other cities is that they all seemed to never want to go back.

    That life was so much better where they moved to - more opportunity, less crime, etc.

    The NOLA families my small CA church gave homes to for those months after Katrina were generally of the same opinion.

    btw, I'm truly sorry to hear of the death of your friend and I'm in no way trying to make it any less tragic than it clearly is.


    i was in new orleans 2 years ago (none / 0) (#47)
    by oldnorthstate on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 10:17:54 PM EST
    in one week, i was kidnapped, had my car wrecked and not repaired even though the body shop told me it had been, and nearly robbed.

    of course i was preyed up by local criminals, but the whole kidnapping thing was rather scary.  were it not for very quick thinking, i'd probably be dead...having jumped out of a slowly moving car at a stop light.  beware, even around the quarter.  needless to say, new orleans isn't my favorite city.

    Where Are the ddd Public Safety Rangers? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Brother McCool on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11:23:45 PM EST
    It was recently rumored that the additional security provided by the Downtown Development District (ddd) Public Safety Rangers in the French Quarter and the Marigny was discontinued in January, 2009, due to not getting enough votes by the F.Q. and Marigny Association to continue the service.

    Wake up people!  The ddd is a non-profit organization and provides the rangers at the "cost", which I hear is 1/2 the expense of security guards and 1/3 the fees of detail officers.

    The service of ddd Public Safety Rangers should be increased in the Quarter and Marigny, not relinquished.  Please call your associations and tell them to restart this service again and increase their numbers to higher than before.  Do we need another resident to be killed or a tourist to lose their life?  I pray not.