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New Orleans residents ask where the Mayor is on crime, FOX 8 to sit down with her

“I think there’s a feeling of hopelessness now,” said Robert Collins, Professor of Urban Studies and Public Policy at Dillard University. “I think what makes it worse is that we haven’t seen the mayor as often as people would like recently.”
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 11:09 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After a spate of outrageous crimes, from a shooting outside a high school graduation that took the life of a grandmother to people jumping on a police cruiser, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell faces criticism for not being in front of the city’s ongoing crime wave.

New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) currently hovers around 1,000 officers. Publicly available data shows the force at 1,097 officers, which includes recruits and reserve officers. Not including recruits and reserve officers, that number is 989.

“People are feeling scared, they want to actually put their eyes on their leader and they want their leader to tell them something to make them feel better, to make them feel more confident,” said Robert Collins, Professor of Urban Studies and Public Policy at Dillard University.

Cantrell has not addressed either the Morris Jeff shooting or the viral videos in interviews with local media, instead opting to release written statements. The Mayor’s Office has also opted to release a written statement on the brutal car jacking death of 73-year-old Linda Frickey.

Collins said there is a feeling in the community that the Mayor has not been present to take the reins of the crime issue.

“I think there’s a feeling of hopelessness now,” he said. “I think what makes it worse is that we haven’t seen the mayor as often as people would like recently.”

On Monday, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson held a press conference on the criminal activities from over the weekend, along with Councilmembers Oliver Thomas and Eugene Green.

“The Mayor, as well as Councilmember Thomas and myself, were on the phone last night, because we all are outraged about this. All night, all night we were talking about this, and the Mayor is just as upset as we are,” Ferguson said. “All of us, I think it is key you see all of us here together at a moment’s notice because that is how important it is for us. Unfortunately, the Mayor could not be with us today because she’s out of town, but she’s very much aware of what’s going on and she’s very much unhappy.”

Mayor Cantrell is currently in New York City for an event with the Yale CEO Summit of mayors.

FOX 8 reached out to the Mayor’s Office to request an interview via Zoom or over the phone. A spokesperson promised FOX 8 a one-on-one interview with Mayor Cantrell next week, saying the crime issue is too big to discuss in a day-of interview.

The Mayor did make herself available for an interview with ABC News Live on Monday night to discuss gun violence in New Orleans.

“We have a unified command that is not just our New Orleans Police Department, however coupled with state police with FBI, federal partners as well,” Cantrell said. “We’re all hands on deck as a city, especially when it comes to protecting our residents, but especially visitors as well.”

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