NEW ORLEANS- Tributes around the world celebrated Dr. King’s non-violent revolution for social change, but in our city, Dr. tribute happened with a lot of the conversation centered around the spike in violent crime.
Speaking at the city’s MLK Memorial in Central City Mayor LaToya Cantrell stated, “Right now darkness does exist. In our community, in our neighborhoods, and throughout our city, but we have the power to drive it out.”
Other community leaders addressed the violent crime problem in the city.
Leslie Harris, the newly elected District B Councilwoman said, “On this cold day we honor Dr. King and my mind is heavy with the violence that is plaguing New Orleans.”
The unfortunate irony of King’s legacy juxtaposed against a city grappling with increased carjackings, murders, and armed robberies.
“Let us take this day to remind ourselves that all of us must work together to find solutions to create a less violent New Orleans,” said Council PresidentLarge Helena Moreno.
To that end, there is frustration from citizens, and the city council has called a series of meetings to begin later this week to examine the criminal justice system.
Councilman at Large Morrell, “What you will see from these two meetings this week is tremendous, immediate action from the council to try and address these problems”
A fiery councilman Oliver Thomas stated that politics has no place in making our city safer, “This isn’t time for folk’s feelings to be hurt or political one-upmanship, or folks to worry about what they’re gonna be next. It’s time to make sure our babies can live.”
Police Chief Shaun Ferguson spoke to the frustrations of rearresting the same criminals for the same crimes only to see them walk with little consequence, “It’s not just frustrating to the officers, it’s frustrating to the citizens of this city to see that we are arresting and rearresting, however, this is the oath we have taken and we will continue to do just that”