NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “If we didn’t feel violated before when they’re constantly coming through this neighborhood, opening car doors and stealing cars, you definitely feel a sense of I don’t want to be here anymore,” says Elizabeth Schindler.
Schindler lives in Lakeview and she was the victim of a carjacking and beating at the hands of juveniles back in September of last year.
Schindler says Tuesday’s manhunt in Lakeview for the juveniles accused of trying to run over a police officer with a stolen car was the tipping point for many residents.
“Now, it has boiled over. They’ve woken a sleeping giant, and people are outraged to a point where they are not going to calm down. They aren’t going to settle down. When you have something happen and your children are at risk, that changes the ball game and it really woke people up here,” says Schindler.
Residents say they want action.
Juvenile Court Judges hope a new policy change will allow them to intervene in a juvenile’s life before they become a repeat offender.
“Every child who is arrested or comes before the juvenile system, who currently has an open case matter, meaning a case pending before one of the judges, we will issue an automatic detainer,” says Chief Juvenile Court Judge Candice Anderson.
Judge Anderson says the youth will now remain in custody until they appear before a Judge.
“We just want to reiterate that for those who say incarceration is not the key, and for those who say that our community needs to be safe that we are trying to look at all sides of this picture,” says Judge Anderson.
Schindler doesn’t believe the new policy is enough to make the kind of difference, she says, is needed. Now, residents say they have a message for City Hall.
“This whole thing with the juveniles has gotten out of control because of them, and now they’re saying, we’re trying to figure out how to fix it,” says Schindler.
Later this month, residents plant to protest on the steps of City Hall.
“It’s completely out of control. We need changes to be made immediately,” says Schindler.
We reached out to the Mayor’s Office, and it had not comment.