President Donald Trump cited new evidence this past week to bolster his threat for shutting down the government if Congress refuses to meet his demands for border-wall funding and other immigration measures.
“One of the reasons we need Great Border Security,” Trump tweeted Tuesday (July 31), “is that Mexico’s murder rate in 2017 increased by 27% to 31,174 people killed, a record!”
The president was responding to reports that Mexico had revised its 2017 homicide count from 25,339 to 31,174, the highest since at least 1990. The new data from the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography put Mexico’s homicide rate at 25 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017.
The murder rate that same year for New Orleans was 40.6 per 100,000.
Comparing a city to an entire country is admittedly flawed. Mexico’s murder rate is much higher than the entire United States, which averages about 5 homicides per 100,000. And parts of Mexico are exceptionally dangerous. Killings in the state of Colima, on the Pacific coast, rose 38 percent last year to a rate of 113 per 100,000.
But realizing that New Orleans’ murder rate is 62 percent higher than a country notoriously wracked by savage drug cartel wars, plagued by generational poverty and policed by historically corrupt law enforcement is a wakeup call to just how bad things are here.
And it’s nothing new. New Orleans, with some of the same problems as Mexico, has ranked at or near the top of America’s most murderous cities lists for decades.
That was personified last Saturday (July 28) when three people were killed and seven injured in what police say was a gang-related retaliation shooting in which two gunmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd outside a neighborhood daiquiri shop and restaurant on South Claiborne Avenue.
The dead included 27-year-old Taiesha Watkins, a Houston mother of a 5-year-old in New Orleans to comfort a friend who recently lost her father; 38-year-old Kurshaw Jackson, the father of two who worked as concrete finisher; and 28-year-old Jeremiah “Zippa” Lee, the father of three who is believed to have been the gunmen’s target.
That was followed by a midday shooting Wednesday that wounded three, including 2-year-old and 16-year-old boys, when occupants of one car opened fire on another on Interstate 10 between the Read and Crowder Boulevard exits.
In the two-week period between July 18 and Aug. 2, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune reported that 34 people were shot in the city, including four children. Seven of those people died from their wounds.
In addition, the bodies of two people were found burned beyond recognition Monday in a wooded area of Algiers. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office has not released a cause or manner of death for either, but police said the bodies found at Maumus Avenue and Bennett Street showed “evidence of foul play.”
The city recorded its 100th homicide of the year Thursday, the 49th consecutive year that New Orleans has reached triple digits, according to crime analyst Jeff Asher. New Orleans is just slightly behind last year’s pace, which ended with 157 homicides.
As the statistics pile up, the concern is that too many New Orleanians will chalk it up to “that’s just the way it is” or retreat behind their own walls where they feel relatively protected.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell expressed the right sentiments after the Claiborne shootings when she declared, “There is no place in New Orleans for this kind of violence. I speak for everyone in our city when I say we are disgusted, we are infuriated, and we have had more than enough. Three more lives gone. It has to end.”
Cantrell’s pithiest quote on the campaign trail was, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” That’s a workable long-term strategy, but it’s neither easy nor quick. Assuming that the Claiborne gunmen or I-10 shooters were not going to holster their weapons upon being offered an employment application, what is the response for now?
Through the first five years of Mayor Mitch Landrieu‘s two terms, New Orleans appeared to be making great strides in reducing homicides through a variety of programs under the umbrella called “NOLA for Life,” launched in 2012.
The key was targeting gangs for arrests, sprawling indictments and interventions, “call-ins,” aimed at preventing feuds from becoming all-out wars. Early returns were encouraging. The 150 murders New Orleans recorded in 2014 were the fewest since 116 murders in 1971.
But by 2015, the targeted efforts faded as the New Orleans Police Department’s staffing levels continued to erode after a hiring freeze Landrieu implemented to deal with a massive budget deficit he inherited when taking office in 2010.
Cantrell has said she is committed to rebuilding the police force and making sure that officers are correctly trained and deployed to make a difference in communities. Again, these are good choices but still just a beginning. What do we do now?
Building a wall is not going to work here.
- Elysian Fields fatal shooting linked to Sunday's 'violent crime spree'
- Man admits to fatal shooting in Sunday's 'violent crime spree': warrant
- New Orleans man accused of trying to rob Central City bank
- Man is 8th gunshot victim in 6 reported shootings New Orleans on Sunday: NOPD
- 'They always shooting': Bystander at New Orleans East homicide
- Video released of person suspected of shooting child, woman in New Orleans
- Machete used in one of three cuttings reported to New Orleans police
- Four robbed in seven hours in New Orleans, police say
- 8 shot, including NOPD officer, in 6 shootings during violent Sunday in New Orleans
- Man on 'violent crime spree' shoots 5 people, including NOPD officer, Sunday afternoon, police say
- Victims of violent crime 'dying in the streets' as police lobby for more government money, officer says
- 7 armed robberies reported across New Orleans in less than 24 hours: NOPD
- New Orleans Crime Spree: Police Officer Among Several Shot Across City
- Cantrell's top aide at City Hall promises 'fresh, new, dynamic ideas' for New Orleans
- Seniors face higher rates of violent crime in Fresno County than statewide average
- Cycling through New Orleans is the new way to see the Big Easy
- New Orleans Pelicans sweep Portland Trail Blazers with 131-123 Game 4 win: Rapid Reaction
- Why is Chicago violent crime in decline?
- Vandals hit New Orleans East mechanic, steal tires from customers' cars
- Klay Thompson unfazed by poor shooting night against New Orleans
New Orleans hits the wall in fight against violent crime have 1046 words, post on www.nola.com at August 5, 2018. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.