New Orleans could have the nation’s highest murder rate per capita, according to data analyst

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Three people were shot in New Orleans in the past 24 hours, and there’s no sign violence will slow down. According to the city council data analyst, New Orleans could have the nation’s highest murder rate per 100,000 people.

Kala Das was locking up the Magnolia Wine Company in the 900 block of Canal Road around 12:30 a.m. when he became startled.

“I’m locking my door, and behind me, I hear the noise..boom boom boom,” Das said.

Two men had been shot on Canal Street. About an hour later, NOPD investigated another shooting on the Westbank, a victim was shot eight times.

Even tourists are aware of the city’s violence.

“We’re from Vancouver,” said tourist Trevor Gross. “You pretty much don’t want to be alone or out at night.. and that there is quite a bit of violent crime.”

The city council’s data analyst Jeff Asher released data showing New Orleans could lead the nation for the highest murder rate per capita.

“It’s so tragic, it really is...and I can tell you that myself and other council members don’t feel like there’s an urgent response around crime and we also feel that there is a bit of downplaying of crime in New Orleans and let me tell you...it is severe and it is a crisis,” said City Council President Helena Moreno.

Asher compiled data that shows New Orleans had 145 homicides as of June 30, setting the murder rate at 36.8 per 100,000 residents.

Baltimore is in second place and Birmingham in third. Cities like Detroit and Baton Rouge are missing from the list, but Asher said that’s because he used data from cities with public crime dashboards and had more than 200,000 residents.

The NOPD says Asher admits the statistics are incomplete and they say the numbers do not provide a complete picture of the circumstances facing New Orleans and nearly every other large city across the country.

“Look at what’s happening with the car jackings and murders in our city. I can tell you this.. at the rate we’re going, we’re going to have more murders in our city since we’ve had after Hurricane Katrina. So, I don’t care where we are...it’s all horrible,” says Moreno. “We can’t get these basic little things done to move things forward so that’s why I wonder is there a real recognition of the severe problem that we have in this city with crime or not.”

Moreno says the council’s made multiple suggestions and taken action to address the crime, but she says there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from top city leaders to carry anything out.

The NOPD pointed out some underlying issues facing society right now like inequality of employment and educational opportunities stating that those issues are beyond the capacity of law enforcement to address.

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