NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— About a month ago, Joe Cooper was shot multiple times during an attempted home invasion. When New Orleans police hit the streets Tuesday night, a group of neighbors joined them, including Cooper’s wife, who has been waiting for justice while her husband recovers.
Although grateful for police efforts, Cooper’s family wants to know how the community and police can work together to stop the violence.
“We have got to get a handle on what is going on and why they — they being the police — are having such a hard time,” explained WWOZ DJ Leslie Cooper, the wife of Joe Cooper.
The victim’s loved ones gathered in the Gentilly Terrace neighborhood with NOPD Third District officers and local leaders discussing crime in the community.
“Crime is rampant, and police need all of our support like Joe does. If we don’t have the police, we don’t have anything,” said Tommy Boehm, one of Joe’s close friends.
On Monday, May 23, Cooper was shot four times in his own doorway by a man who demanded a package from him that wasn’t there.
“He took 4 shots,” Leslie Cooper explained. “My house had about 14 bullet holes in it.”
Joe has been fighting for his life in the hospital ever since.
In an effort to show their support for the police, Leslie and Councilman Eugene Green organized a porch roll call for the Third District police who responded the day of the shooting.
“I do appreciate their quick, quick response. I really do,” said Leslie Cooper.
The Coopers want to know why the department is struggling with taking basic calls.
“When you call Third District, you get a — I’ve called once and gotten someone to actually answer the phone. Everything else has been leaving a message,” she added.
While it’s no secret the NOPD is dealing with a severe staffing shortage, Councilman Green says arrests are being made but says the conviction rate is much lower.
“The New Orleans Police Department has over a thousand arrests, 1409 or more,” Green explained. “It’s a bit frustrating to many of them because the level of prosecution, the number of convictions is far below that.”
Green, Cooper’s loved ones, and the Gentilly community hope this meeting with local police will strengthen relationships between the community and the NOPD to get crime under control.
So far, no arrests have been made in Joe Cooper’s case and his family says has months ahead of him for recovery.
They’re asking anyone who knows anything about the shooting to call NOPD Third District officers at (504) 658-6030.