NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – With at least than 22 people shot in New Orleans since Friday night police are speaking out, and a well-known defense attorney is offering his controversial advice.
The latest NOPD recruit class has begun. It’s the first recruit class of this year. Now 31 men and women will spend the next 25 weeks learning how to be a New Orleans police officer. It’s a job both rewarding and worrisome as the recruits will eventually find themselves protecting a city plagued by violence.
“We had a tough weekend in the City of New Orleans. There’s a culture of violence that has developed in our city for a long, long time that puts our residents at risk and makes people feel unsafe,” says Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Since Friday night there have been at least 22 people shot in the city with at least five of those killed. Among the latest victims is a man gunned down in New Orleans East.
Despite the recent violence NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas says so far this year murder rates are down.
“So as we look to the rest of this year we still project that we will have another year, and you have to be very careful about this, but we still project we will have another year that was lower than last year,” says Chief Serpas.
A new audit set to be released at midnight from New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux says the NOPD does not have enough uniformed officers to respond to the city’s needs, citing too many are working desk jobs, and too few are actually out on the streets.
“It’s just not police. You can’t blame police. It starts at home with these individuals,” says defense attorney Robert Jenkins.
Jenkins says parents of minors should be held accountable. He says parents should be forced to pay for the actions of their children or face losing public assistance. It’s a controversial solution he says has worked in the past.
“So we’re going to have to, in my opinion, start using civil forfeitures, meaning garnishments, taking assets, zero tolerance, taking vouchers; things of that nature to make them do what they are supposed to do,” says Jenkins, “It doesn’t seem like the nice thing to do, but we’ve been doing nice things for a long time and it’s time to get tough.”