Business owners, local leaders respond to recent violence in the French Quarter

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NEW ORLEANS — Ayman Salem owns Culture, an urban clothing store on Canal Street, in the heart of the French Quarter. Salem says lately, violence has plagued the area, from fights, to stabbings and even shootings.

“They had a shooting right next to the store, and he was actually one of my customers and he got shot right outside on the right and he literally died right in front of my store,” said Salem.

Salem says the experience left him rattled.

“It messes with you, it’s weird. ‘Cause I’m not used to seeing people get shot up and die, to be honest with you, I’m not,” said Salem.

But Salem says violence is on the rise in the Quarter.

We showed him this video of a woman being viciously attacked as she stands on the corner of Royal and Canal Streets.

“It happens, the fights happen a lot,” said Salem.

So, what’s being done to deter crime in the Quarter?

French Quarter Management District’s Security and Enforcement Committee met this afternoon with District Attorney Jason Williams to discuss solutions.

“What I think would really be beneficial in the Quarter, is if we have these conversations about what other entities we can call and fund to do the work that we want our police department to do,” said Williams.

This means reaching out to other agencies, like Orleans Sheriff’s Office, to respond to calls about homelessness and loitering, so the New Orleans Police Department can focus on responding to violent crime.

Williams said he plans to work with the city council and the mayor to figure out how they can get this done.

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