City Council questions police chief about violent crime in New Orleans

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:35 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As Chief Shaun Ferguson discussed violent crime with City Council Members Thursday, the New Orleans Police Department continued to investigate a number of shootings and carjackings that recently unfolded.

In the past 24 hours, seven people were shot, one of them died, and a woman was carjacked in front of her Gentilly home.

The carjacking happened just after 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in the 5600 Block of Charlotte Drive. Neighbors say the victim was sitting in her car when an armed man walked up, pointed a gun at her, and demanded her keys. Neighbors say the victim, frantic and confused, ran throughout the neighborhood asking for help. Many were too afraid to even answer their door. They tell FOX 8, the surge in violent crime has everyone living in fear and something must be done.

“I think people want to help but they’re afraid to open the door to help somebody. That’s how bad it is and I also think we need to do something. Something needs to be done now because it’s getting worse. It’s getting to the point where people don’t want to come outside,” says a neighbor.

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The City Council asked NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson what specifically the department is doing to stop the violence. Ferguson once again pointed to the revolving door at Criminal District Court.

“It is a proactive plan in which we will be more engaged, but again, we go back to the history of what we’ve seen over the last year or so. We can be engaged as much as we want to be but if the arrests are being made and there’s no accountability behind that arrests, what are we doing?” says Chief Ferguson.

The Chief says he’s implementing a proactive plan with his officers but did not want to go into details in a public setting for fear of showing his hand to criminals. He also expressed how the lack of manpower is presenting the department with serious challenges. Council members were critical at times, telling Chief Ferguson that he lacked specifics.

“This city, the people of this city, really need to see a plan from you. They really need to see something. This council would like to see something from you with steps that you’re talking about,” says Councilwoman Helena Moreno.

The Council will hold a special crime meeting on Monday, when they’re expected to hear from other members of the Criminal Justice System, including the D.A. and Criminal Court Judges.

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