Leaders with the New Orleans Police Department have put together a documentary film designed to scare area teens straight.
Film crews went behind prison walls for firsthand accounts about crime and punishment.
WGNO news reporter Darian trotter has the story.
Despite the recent downward trend in violent crimes, the mean streets of New Orleans take on a life of
their own, with a fair amount of crime at the hands of young people.
It’s why New Orleans Police made a stop at Banneker Elementary.
Sgt. Smith asked, “Can we say that together? It’s up to you,” the group of students complied.
These 6th and 8th graders are the first to see a documentary film geared to teach the consequences of committing crimes.
It includes gripping testimonials from New Orleans natives Steve Givens and Michael Luckett.
23-year old Givens, serving 40-years to life for manslaughter, opened up about how his cliché disappeared when he was sentenced.
There were no letters, no cards, and no visits.
“I expected a friend that committed a crime, they’d go down together, they’d stay together,”Givens said. “But as I got 40-years to life they are no friends. They no longer was my friend. They just vanished. They just disappear.”
21-year old Luckett is serving 8 years for armed robbery.
He misses his freedom.
“I just miss being out there, chilling with my friends and being able to talk to females. Just the small things being with your family,” Luckett explained.
Judging from the silence in the classroom, the message was far reaching.
After the film, police lead the discussion with Q & A.
Sgt. Smith asked, “True or false by a show of hands, can you eat any type of food you want?”
“They tell you where to sit and they tell you who you can sit next to,” officer Hilal Williams added.
“Having the police to come in and kind of reinforce what we’re teaching them it’s really good for the community,” school Principal Hiral Wade Bailey said.
There were some light-hearted moments during class participation.
In the end, the life lesson was learned.
“I don’t want to go to jail and also I feel bad for the people who did go to jail,” one student said.
“The people we saw today that’s in jail, they don’t get a chance to see life,” another student added.
The NOPD raised $50,000. from the private sector to pay for the film.
School Resource Officers will show the film this spring and into next school year.