NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Mayor LaToya Cantrell received backlash Thursday, as three carjacking victims testified before the city council. The three women shared their stories and their trauma after they were carjacked by a 13-year-old boy about a year ago.
“I told my attacker that to me, he did not just steal my car. He robbed a large part of my life. I no longer live in peace, but in paranoia,” said victim Stephanie Uddo.
Their testimony before the council comes after Mayor Cantrell showed up at a court date last month and sat on the side of the perpetrator. The juvenile participated in the mayor’s diversion program and Cantrell says she wasn’t picking sides, but rather showing support for the 13-year-old and his family.
The victims were appalled by the mayor’s actions.
“I feel like I’m in a boxing ring with the mayor and I’m repeatedly getting punched in the face. From all the coverage we’ve had on this, has she not learned anything? That the victims are hurt by her actions. Instead of going up there and giving the slightest apology or the most minute, complete support of the victims, she again went up there and made this situation okay,” said victim Madison Bergeron.
The council members listened to all three women, while councilman JP Morrell offered an apology for what they went through.
“I cannot imagine what it must’ve felt like to see the mayor of the City of New Orleans walk into the courtroom and pick the other side. I apologize on behalf of the City of New Orleans for what you went through in that moment,” said Morrell.
We reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment about today’s meeting and have not heard back.