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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Violence continues to cast a shadow on the City of New Orleans. Thursday evening two separate shootings in the Lower Ninth Ward left two men dead and another man injured. The first happened at the intersection of Lamanche and Urquhart streets. The second happened right around the corner less than an hour later on Andry Street. The murders happened just hours after city leaders held a press conference about New Orleans Police Department policy changes.

“It needs to start today, an overhaul of changes. Something has to be done differently,” said a New Orleans resident, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced her administration will seek to end the federal consent decree that has ruled the NOPD for the last decade.

“The consent decree handcuffs our officers by making their jobs harder, pestering them with punitive punishment, and burying them with paperwork,” said Mayor Cantrell.

According to the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission, ideally, the city should have 1,450 cops. When asked for the current number, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said he didn’t want to disclose that information for fear criminals might use it to their advantage. Ferguson and Mayor Cantrell point to lack of morale as the main reason officers are leaving. The people we spoke with say something needs to be done fast.
“I’m not blaming anyone, but if you’re in a position to lead, you have to take control of the situation and make some changes,” said a New Orleans resident.

City leaders also mentioned that they will focus on promoting senior officers more frequently to help boost morale.