Kenneth Polite takes oath of office - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Kenneth Polite takes oath of office

NEW ORLEANS -  Kenneth Polite is officially the new U.S. attorney of the Eastern District. He took the oath of office at an inner-city school, vowing to use the force of education and justice to change the community for the better.

"With all due respect to our city's beautiful courthouses and landmarks, this is the most important venue for my investiture," Polite said. "This is where we all belong."

The gathering was filled with dignitaries, including Attorney General Eric Holder, and was dominated by young faces from at least 30 schools.

"We have to rally around our young people," Polite said. "We have to cut off the school-to-prison pipeline, trade prison suits for cap and gowns, and make sure they have all resources necessary to graduate from high school and successfully go on to college."

Polite grew up in area housing developments but graduated with honors from Harvard.  Student Chastity Smith wore a Harvard sweatshirt. She dreams of attending there, too.

"Today proved to me that if you really want to do something, put your mind to it and you can do it," she said. "Anything is possible."

Polite's mother, Rosalind Ballansaw, says she was just a teenager when he was born.

"He's been just a humble child, a good child," Ballansaw said. "I just kept him educated. I knew that was the key that made the difference."

His name was the only one Sen. Mary Landrieu recommended to President Obama.

"He's energetic, he's a visionary, he's young and looking forward to the future," Landrieu said. "That's the kind of person we need in this particular office."

Polite told Landrieu, "When it is all said and done, the noble work of this office will prove the wisdom of your decision."

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