NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — With crime surging, the New Orleans City Council held a special meeting to discuss what needs to be done to stop the violence in our city.
They are trying to find out what the NOPD and the District Attorney’s Office need to do to make more arrests and hold criminals responsible. Even Mayor LaToya Cantrell is speaking out.
According to statistics, on average two people per day are shot in New Orleans, with 676 shootings in 2021, and 218 of those being murders. The murder rate is at its highest since 2004, but only 30 percent of those cases are being solved.
“I have a problem with my son being gunned down, but I have a problem that I still don’t have answers,” Keishia Deverney said.
Her son, Devin Espadron was shot and killed in 2019. For this mother she said the NOPD and the DA’s office need to do more to solve the case and make an arrest.
“Don’t let the family members think your son is a cold case or how he is stuck in a file with a number on it. I have a problem with that,” she said.
This was one of the many issues brought up as the special council meeting to discuss crime. Better collaboration between the NOPD and the DA’s Office is top of mind.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell weighed in.
“Those in elected capacities to keep the city safe are being held accountable to be called to the carpet to do just that.”
The Mayor said the NOPD is doing its part by re-arresting criminals time and time again, and now other elected officials need to step up.
“The hands on deck have been that of the New Orleans Police Department. I need to see other hands and fingers at this time.” Cantrell said.
District Attorney Jason Williams spoke out requesting the City Council invests more money to help with the issues. Williams asked for $418, 836 dedicated to a trial division. He asked for $120,000 to fund two new juvenile case detectives, and $250,000 to help fund a new cold case unit. Williams also asked Governor John Bel Edwards to deploy Louisiana State Police to patrol I-10 in New Orleans East, where there has been a surge in shootings.
“We need them. Innocent people are getting killed driving to and from New Orleans East. That cannot happen in a major American City. The city cannot afford to fail to accurately combat this current crime surge,” Williams said.
For parents like Keishia, at the very least they want to see justice.
“I think the communication needs to be better for the community and the families who are involved, when families are victims of some sort of crime,” she said.