Fight in the middle of Canal St.; Business owners say crime in the area is too much

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - “It was unbelievable. They just had a big fight right in the middle of Canal between Bourbon and Carondelet streets,” says David Rubenstein.

David Rubenstein, owner of Rubenstein Brothers on Canal Street, says it was quite a scene Friday night as a big fight broke out.

“I mean, nobody stopped them. The video was like a minute and a half long and nobody stopped them,” says Rubenstein.

The Canal St. brawl was just the latest incident in several that’s unfolded over the past month.

“The guy was killed over in the front of that store. He was shot. There were people shot in front of the Marriot. There were four people shot on Camp Street,” says Rubenstein.

“Folks are just going wild. Crime is up at the highest level it’s been in a long time,” says Dan Rousseve.

Dan Rousseve works on Canal Street, and he worries about how crime will effect the area.

“You know, we are trying to get back, and as long as this crime is going on, it’s not going to come back like we want it to. Folks are not going to want to come to New Orleans,” says Rousseve.

Rubenstein believes tourism will take a hit.

“It’s when all of these people go back home and they say how bad it is. That’s when the word will get out that Canal St. and Bourbon St. are dangerous,” says Rubenstein.

Business owners in the 900 block of Canal St., where multiple shootings recently happened, were too afraid to talk on camera but told FOX 8 they want more police protection. They believe crime is out of control.

Police Chief Shaun Ferguson says the department is dedicating additional officers to the Bourbon St. and Canal St. corridor.

“Right now, we’ve funded an additional seven shifts of overtime plus another three from the French Quarter patrols, so that’s an additional 10 officers there on the streets during peak hours,” says Beau Tidwell.

The Mayor’s Communications Director, Beau Tidwell, says the NOPD will continue to work on additional ways to protect the area.

“Certainly, what we saw in that video was disturbing and certainly something we want to have addressed,” says Tidwell.

“We always thought of this area as it’s own downtown, but I think now the baby needs to have some attention. It’s going in the wrong direction, and it’s serious for this city,” says Rubenstein.

The city pointed out that the NOPD was in the area when the fight broke out on Canal St. City leaders say the NOPD is investigating the incident.

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