NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Concerns over violence are spilling onto the streets in St. Roch. Neighbors and the NOPD walk side by side. Even Bill Murphy is present despite his injuries.
“They came out from around a dumpster,” explains Murphy, “They were just kicking me. I got scrapes on elbows and knees; kicked me a lot on the side so sides are hurting. I’ve got some stitches on the cheek.”
On Sunday night Murphy says he was attacked as he walked to the store. He says eight young men jumped him and began beating him. It comes just one day after police say another man was attacked nearby, this time by close to 10 youngsters, and days after several shootings leave 5 in St. Roch dead.
“We’re going to find out who you are. We’re going to get you and we’re going to bring you in front of a juvenile court or a criminal court depending upon how old you are, and you’re going to be held accountable for carelessly just hitting on somebody. It’s just not acceptable, but where are their parents,” questions NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas.
NOPD’s anti-crime walk comes as state police serve their 21st day in the city. Col. Mike Edmonson says so far 50 troopers have made close to 250 arrests while patrolling various areas. He says he realizes the city is in need, but says they’ll be heading home after Labor day.
“For me to bring troopers down here I have to pull them from somewhere else in the state, so that becomes problematic for me. I do believe that the city of New Orleans needs additional police officers. I do believe they need additional help,” says Col. Edmonson.
In the meantime NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas says his officers are working overtime, and in the 5th district they’ve increased patrols.
“That’s the Band-Aid. The deeper solution is to give these young men some direction, something to do, you know? What the city is doing with NOLA for Life, but NOLA for Life is not enough,” says Murphy.
The Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association is hosting a crime prevention meeting on August 14th. They are meeting from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at 1738 St. Roch Avenue.
Commander Goodly, Council Representatives and residents are expected and welcome. Organizers hope to identify solutions to crime, form partnerships, and discuss community approaches to policing.