In America’s Murder Capital, the Killing Is Personal

Douglas McCollam, Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2011

At half-past midnight, as Halloween stretched into All Saints Day, a thick crowd of revelers was milling around the corner of Bourbon and St. Louis streets in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter when a series of gun shots erupted. {snip}

{snip} Seven were wounded and one, 25-year-old Albert Glover, the target of the attacker, died on the scene.

Just over an hour later and six blocks away, gunfire rang out again. This time Joshua Lewis, 19, and three other teenagers were cut down in a fusillade of 32 bullets fired by a single assailant following a brief altercation. Lewis later died at a local hospital. In all 16 people were shot in New Orleans on Halloween night, a butcher’s bill that shook even the jaded citizens of America’s deadliest city.

{snip}

{snip} As of this week, 164 homicides have been committed in New Orleans in 2011, on pace to eclipse last year’s total of 172. To put that number in perspective, New York City, with more than 20 times the population of New Orleans, had 536 murders last year. If New York had New Orleans’s homicide rate, more than 4,000 people would have been murdered there last year, about 11 every day.\

{snip}

In March, the Justice Department (which is negotiating a consent decree regarding court supervision of the New Orleans Police Department) released an analysis of the city’s crime problem that did contain some insights. Contrary to popular perception, it found that New Orleans’ overall crime rate–including its rate of violent crime–is lower than that of other cities of comparable size. It’s even lower than the crime rate in such family-friendly destinations as Orlando, Fla.

But that news comes with a giant caveat: The Big Easy’s homicide rate (52 homicides per 100,000 residents) is 10 times higher than the national average and almost five times that of other cities of its size.

Why is the city such a murder outlier? In many jurisdictions, the Justice Department notes, gangs and drugs are principal drivers of the murder rate. Not so in New Orleans, which has comparatively little gang activity or organized violence related to the drug trade. Nor do the killings tend to happen in back alleys or vacant buildings as they often do in other places. More often they occur in residential neighborhoods in close proximity to witnesses. And more often the motivation is not random robbery, but revenge or argument.

In short, the killing in New Orleans is personal. “What appear to be different about homicides in New Orleans are the circumstances of the events,” Justice Department investigators noted. “In reading the narratives of the offenses, one is struck by their ordinariness–arguments and disputes that escalate into homicide.”

{snip} Law enforcement can disrupt gangs and target drug kingpins. But what does it do about a culture in which Glocks have become the preferred tool for settling petty disputes?

{snip}

After all, [Police Superintendant Ronal] Serpas noted, the Halloween night shooting of eight people on Bourbon Street happened with policemen standing a few feet away from the gunman. “It did not make a difference in this young man’s mind.”

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Mark

    This type of story is all too common, this is the reason why our 2nd amendment rights to bear firearms are so vital; criminals like this attack with impunity, they do not fear prison in fact many criminals look at incarceration as a badge of honor, and prison as their club med.

  • ice

    As time goes on and the economy continues to drop incidents like these will be the norm, and they will continue to spread to all areas where there’s a population of blacks. Note, please, that I did not say a “sizeable population” of blacks, but just a population of blacks.

    The reason, of course, is because wherever blacks are there is going to be crime and violence far and above what could be considered average.

    For example, just take one area of the country that has no blacks and move a few dozen in and wait awhile.

    Eventually the police won’t be able to spend even their breaks at Dunkin Donuts, because they’ll be busy answering calls 24/7.

  • Anonymous

    …more often the motivation is not random robbery, but revenge or argument.

    And most of these arguments are something along the lines of “he gave me a dirty look”. I’m serious! Talk to someone involved in homicide investigations in black cities, they’ll tell you “mean muggin'” (AKA a dirty look) is the cause of many murders.

  • Question Diversity

    After all, [Police Superintendant Ronal] Serpas noted, the Halloween night shooting of eight people on Bourbon Street happened with policemen standing a few feet away from the gunman. “It did not make a difference in this young man’s mind.”

    This certainly punches some holes in the Democrat narrative that all you need to do is hire more cops to lower the violent crime rate. Really, that’s just their two-faced triangulation, because they know they can’t really be against violent crime, because the violent races are their political base, but they also need to sucker some white voters from time to time. Their way out is running around mouthing off about “put more cops on the streets.” It sounds like they’re being tough on crime when they’re actually not.

  • kgb

    Remind me again why we need to “understand” where these “youths” are “coming from”…?

  • Robert Binion

    “We are the 98.99 per cent.”

  • Anonymous

    “Law enforcement can disrupt gangs and target drug kingpins. But what does it do about a culture in which Glocks have become the preferred tool for settling petty disputes?”

    I believe the word you’re looking for there is “segregation.”

    Or maybe “repatriation.”

    One of the two, anyway.

  • Tim in Indiana

    Why is the city such a murder outlier? In many jurisdictions, the Justice Department notes, gangs and drugs are principal drivers of the murder rate. Not so in New Orleans, which has comparatively little gang activity or organized violence related to the drug trade. Nor do the killings tend to happen in back alleys or vacant buildings as they often do in other places. More often they occur in residential neighborhoods in close proximity to witnesses. And more often the motivation is not random robbery, but revenge or argument.

    So in other words, blacks are going to find an excuse to kill each other no matter what. Something to keep in mind the next time someone says the key to reducing the homicide rate is by cracking down on gang activity.

  • Jeddermann.

    A lot of pundits have commented about this. Settling a score or an argument what they call it used to be the usual punch in the nose and is now the handgun and the shootout. What was once very rare is not common but is not that uncommon now. And NOT ONLY NOLA but other locales too.

  • madison grant

    The Big Sleazy is 60% black and 5% Latino. But why a higher murder rate than, say, Detroit or Newark?

    Could it be the hot weather? Criminologists have long noticed a drop in the crime rate in the Northern cities during winter. Blacks and Hispanics loathe the cold and are much less likely to go outside for a night of wilding.

  • Anonymous

    “Why is the city such a murder outlier?”

    Because a lot of black people live there?

  • Gen. Lee

    “What appear to be different about homicides in New Orleans are the circumstances of the events,”

    I’ll tell you what’s not different about homicides in NO…the color if those involved.

    “But what does it do about a culture in which Glocks have become the preferred tool for settling petty disputes?”

    The right to keep and bear arms functions fine in a society dominated by whites and Asians. Once blacks and browns get into the mix in large numbers, Amendment #2 becomes a huge problem, as America has found out the hard way these last 50 years.

  • HH

    These articles are shameless in their capacity to ignore the painfully obvious! The problem isn’t firearms, it isn’t gangs(per se), it isn’t any of these typical excuses and distractions. The problem doesn’t concern these “Youth of Color”(as I call them), but the problem IS these Youth of Color!!! That’s it – nothing more needs be said!

  • Jim

    A microcosam of africa

  • Jack Krak

    Reason number one out of about 1,000 to stay away from New Orleans, yet another formerly unique & attractive American city ceded by whites to blacks out of fear and intimidation.

  • Cousin Charlie from TN

    Don’t blame Serpas. He’s been on the job a short time, after he left Nashville TN.

    Maybe it’s the inner longing for the “motherland”, Africa, that’s troubling these youts. Well, plane tickets aren’t all that much. Real estate is available in Africa in many nations for a low price compared to the USA. There is no law against leaving the USA and settling elsewhere. Permanently.

    For real, just do it! Go!

  • olewhitelady

    Get into the deep Deep South and you will find some of the darkest ghettoes in the nation, places that are more like Haiti or S.A. than the U.S. Many of the people there have little or no self control, regardless of the force of authority. That’s why segregation used to be the norm in any part of the country where blacks were numerous. And when individual blacks exhibited that they were out of control, they went to prison for long stretches or were executed.

    These people used to use fists, teeth, and knives. Now they can obtain guns. They used to be restricted largely to black areas. Now they can roam nearly everywhere.

  • Pandemonium

    Pay close attention as the “recession” deepens; you will observe steep escalation of the murder rates.

    You will also observe the movement from the ghetto to “normal” areas typically ghetto behavior. Prepare yourselves.

  • john

    A couple of other posters have some good points, particularly those pointing out that New Orleans is warm year-round, allowing blacks to be outdoors more often than, say, in Gary, Indiana. Another pointed out that blacks are an overwhelming majority in the Big Easy. Something I don’t think anybody else noted is that the New Orleans PD is overwhelmingly black. I’ve never seen the stats on this department, but my own observations lead me to believe that white cops are rare.

  • Frustrated

    And people continue to go there for vacations and conferences. I wouldn’t go to NO if the trip was free. Eventually it will be uninhabitable.

  • ex-Indianapolis

    In New Orleans, you must live within the city limits if you are a police officer. As you can imagine, this kills the potential number of white recruits. I’m not aware of such a rule in Gary, and I have actually seen a white cop with the Gary PD.

  • Anonymous

    JOHN at #19, raises a good point. The police force in N.O. is overwhelmingly black. Look at how they folded during Katrina.

  • Soprano Fan

    If the French Quarter district tanks, there will be no compelling reason whatsoever for any non-Bantu to visit New Orleans. The French Quarter is the heart of New Orleans’ tourist spot. When it goes, adieu!

  • Anonymous

    All the above posts all testify to the obvious (to all but the most brain dead) fact that the Black population is inherently violent. There can never be peace between them and those who aren’t like them. I agree with Anonymous 7 that the only solutions to this issue are either segregation or repatriation. Repatriation would be a logistical nightmare but a far better alternative than waiting around and hoping for the Black Epiphany that will never come.

    They will be the ultimate instrument that will destroy this society irreparably. There is no new social program, entitlement, or affirmative action that will reverse what the progressive maniacs have set into motion. Some other power perhaps China will then move to take possession of the geographical entity that was once the USA and they will either enslave the Blacks or totally annihilate them. I’d wager that it’d be the latter because I think that they’ll recognize that trying to control that population wouldn’t be worth the investment of money and time.