Mayor Cantrell: Violent crime trends’moving in the right direction’ in New Orleans

Mayor LaToya Cantrell responded to the mass shooting at a popular Magazine Street bar over the weekend.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - When asked about the mass shooting at a Magazine Street bar over the weekend, Mayor LaToya Cantrell decried the circumstances that led to Nairobi Davis, the target in the retaliatory shooting, to be out on the streets in the first place.

“One of the individuals was out on bond right at the end of 2021,” Cantrell said of Davis. “We were also able to confirm that individual’s case was refused.”

Cantrell defended the New Orleans Police Department, saying the department is making “solid arrests.”

“The beginning of that system starts with NOPD, and we’re again continuing to see arrests that are being made by NOPD, and the trend moving in the right direction relative to violent crime,” Cantrell added.

As reported last week by FOX 8, New Orleans is on pace to have one of its deadliest years in recent history.

Jeff Asher, the co-founder of AH Datalytics, said this year has been particularly bloody. The last time the first four months of the year have yielded this many homicides was April 2005.

If the trend holds, New Orleans could be looking at its’ deadliest year since the 1990s, when the population of the city was roughly 100,000 people higher.

“I think [this is] only the third or fourth time since the late 90s that we’ve been above 90 murders through April,” Asher said. “If you think, in all of 2019, we had 121 murders. So obviously we’ve seen this dramatic increase in murders, that really started middle half of 2020.”

Authorities speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that 23-year-old Nairobi Davis was one of two men wounded when gunmen pulled up and opened fire after they spotted him leaving the Uptown New Orleans bar.

Four women also struck in their legs and lower bodies -- in the hail of an estimated 50 bullets -- appear to have been collateral damage for the gunmen who fled the scene. The women, who range in age from 23 to 35, each arrived for hospital treatment in “stable” condition, New Orleans police said.

The 27-year-old man accompanying Davis is believed to have returned fire, leading the NOPD to describe the 10:17 p.m. incident as a “shootout” in its initial account of the scene. No arrests have been made and police have not identified the gunmen who initiated the exchange.

Councilman Oliver Thomas said the culture has changed: criminals now bring their “beef” home, or take it out into public and put innocent bystanders in the crosshairs.

“In their minds, it’s obvious maybe they don’t have hearts and souls. I don’t think they consider anybody an innocent bystander, because, wow, we’re seeing mass shootings now where they’re targeting one person and five and six other people get shot,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the climate of retaliation, “beefing” and street justice have been festering and building in New Orleans for decades.

“We’ve reached, I think, post-Katrina, post-HOPE VI, post-inflation, post-shrinking of the middle class, post-destruction, especially of the African American family, and families in our community, we’re getting the results of all of those efforts,” Thomas said. “We’re getting them in the way of violence, and too often indiscriminate violence.”

As the NOPD investigates, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson described the shooting as “senseless.”

“We just have to continue to fight a good fight,” Ferguson said. “We’re familiar with these individuals, and we will continue to address them to the best of our ability, meaning continue to be engaged, continue to make the arrests, and do our due diligence to ensure the safety of the city.”

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the NOPD’s Sixth District detectives at (504) 658-6060 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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