NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas, United States Attorney Kenneth Polite, and Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans President Darlene Cusanza, and members of the New Orleans City Council to provide an update on the City’s response following the Sunday, June 29, 2014 shooting incident on Bourbon Street that injured ten people and called for additional resources from the United States federal government and the State of Louisiana and to combat violence.
Click here to see the today’s press conference.
“This past weekend, ten people were wounded by gunfire in New Orleans at a brazen shooting incident on world-renowned Bourbon Street,” Mayor Landrieu said. “These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered. The NOPD is pursuing leads and we encourage eyewitnesses to continue to come forward. These perpetrators will be brought to justice. We are working every day to make New Orleans safer and our crime fighting efforts are achieving results as we have brought murders in the city of New Orleans to a historic nearly 30-year low. We will not rest until every corner of this city is safe.”
Landrieu added, “In response to this shooting, I have spoken with the White House and Governor Jindal to request additional resources from the federal and state government to help turn the tide of violence in our communities. Our neighborhoods are being terrorized and innocent children and visitors are being caught in this crossfire. More must be done at every level of government to bring order back to our streets.”
Today, the City sent letters requesting additional resources from the United States federal government and the State of Louisiana to combat violence. Those letters are attached to this release.
In the City’s letter to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Louisiana congressional delegation, and the federal government the City of New Orleans has requested the following:
1) Re-invigorate the federal COPS program to put police officers on the street;
2) Deploy a targeted surge team of federal enforcement officers from the DEA, ATF and FBI along with federal prosecutors;
3) Amend federal law to allow federal prosecution of the illegal use of a firearm; and,
4) Deploy a team of United States Park Police from the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service to protect the many national historic and cultural sites in the heavily-visited Vieux Carre Historic District.
In the City’s letter to Governor Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Legislature, and the state government the City of New Orleans has requested the following:
1) Permanently assign 100 Louisiana State Police to New Orleans;
2) Beef up the New Orleans District Probation and Parole Office within the Department of Corrections;
3) Honor state obligations to fund the District Attorney’s Office and the Indigent Defenders Office;
4) Invest in mental health and substance abuse programs;
5) Support allocating a larger portion of the hotel/motel tax to the City of New Orleans on future hotel developments; and,
6) Rededicate one penny of hotel/motel tax from the Convention Center to the City of New Orleans for public safety needs.
"I am making a plea to all the young men of New Orleans, and I know it might not mean a lot coming from a middle aged man. I am asking you to put down your guns," said At-Large Councilmember Jason Williams. "Please realize that carrying or pointing a gun is a path to self-destruction, and also destroys the fabric and culture of this city. A gun does not make you a man. Look at the anger and wrath which is coming down on the two shooters whom the entire city is currently looking for. Along with the people they have injured, their lives are destroyed."
“The City Council stands with Mayor Landrieu in his request that the state and federal governments commit additional law enforcement resources to our fight against violent crime in the City of New Orleans," said District A Councilmember Susan Guidry. "I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Council, Mayor Landrieu, Chief Serpas, and the citizens of New Orleans to strengthen and improve our law enforcement and to provide opportunities and alternatives for our young people.”
“Sadly this is just the latest act of violence in our city. A few weeks ago, I put forth a Council resolution urging the NOPD to pursue additional Federal resources," said District D Councilmember Jared Brossett. "As we move toward a time when our police department is fully funded and fully staffed, we need the assistance of other levels of government and other law enforcement bodies to help fill the gap.”
Both the federal and state letters are attached.