Local leaders hope recent gang indictments begin to decrease ove - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Local leaders hope recent gang indictments begin to decrease overall violence

Updated:

New Orleans -- To the Orleans Parish District Attorney eight people who were recently arrested, represents an opportunity for the people of Pigeon Town to reclaim their streets. 

"In this case it was eight individuals who are responsible for narcotic activity and homicides and again it demonstrates to the community that we're trying to go after individuals in neighborhoods who are hurting the common good," said Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. 

Now 53 people from five alleged gangs have been indicted since the creation of the New Orleans Police Department's multi-agency gang unit less than a year ago.

But, local criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf says it's too early to know if taking these people off the streets has played a role in the drop in murders. Especially because the number of other violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery and assault have all increased from the second quarter of last year to the second quarter of this year. 

"Until armed robbery and assaults are radically down, you can't be confident in the numbers and they may just be averaging out in terms of mortality," says Scharf.

In other words, Scharf says, the violence is still there, people just may be surviving attacks. And, it's too early to tell if other gangs are filling the void of those taken into custody. 

"Gang-centered strategies have that risk," says Scharf. "It's a fundamental question that criminologists ask...Are you reducing crime or criminal activity, or are you moving it around?"

Though he says,it is a good place to start. Going after the individuals, many claim, are wreaking havoc.

"They cause in many instances, law abiding citizens to live as prisoners in their own homes and neighborhoods," said Cannizzaro. "They're afraid to come out for fear that they may be the victim of a robbery or the victim of a shooting."

 

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