NOPD

The New Orleans Police Department released edited video from officer body cameras of the events on the Crescent City Connection last week during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Superintendent Shaun Ferguson again defended the use of tear gas and rubber pellets to use to disperse protesters on the bridge, calling them “less than lethal tools.” 

Councilman Jason Williams wants the New Orleans Police Department to answer to a citizens' advisory committee.

Trey Couvillion / LSU Manship School News Service

With Tropical Storm Cristobal in the rearview, Gov. John Bel Edwards spent most of his Monday press conference discussing the state’s ongoing fight against COVID-19 and widespread protests against police violence following the death of George Floyd.

In 1979, Ernest "Dutch" Morial became the first black mayor of New Orleans. He won the election with 95% of the black vote, and just 20% of the white vote. He campaigned on a platform of police reform, but it wasn’t just Dutch who wanted to re-organize the NOPD – they were organizing themselves. They wanted a union, pay increases, and better working conditions. Soon after Dutch took office, the police wasted no time. They staged their first strike, in history. Their bargaining tool? Mardi Gras.

Policing Under Pressure

Feb 3, 2017
wikipedia.com

Law enforcement in Louisiana’s two largest cities is under pressure – in New Orleans, it’s pressure from the top down, while in Baton Rouge it’s coming from the bottom up.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry has gone on the warpath against crime in New Orleans.

Task Force Looking at Body Camera Requirements

Sep 23, 2016
IACP.org

As police and community relations in Charlotte, North Carolina, are rocked by a questioned shooting, a Louisiana task force began work on recommendations governing law enforcement body cameras. They started out questioning dependability.


New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.

Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.

New Orleans is still reeling from another spate of violence last weekend, when five people were killed by gunfire and 11 wounded, including two toddlers. The city has launched high-profile campaigns to address gun violence, but a big part of the problem is an acute shortage of police.

Karen Rogers lives in the lower 9th Ward, where a recent drive-by shooting left two people dead and several more wounded. Police say it was drug-related.

"This is not the first time [I've heard gunshots]," says Rogers. "This is the first time to actually see people murdered and shot."

Body-worn video cameras are quickly becoming standard-issue for American police, especially at departments in the process of reform. And in New Orleans, the troubled police department is now requiring almost all officers to wear the cameras.

The city's police department has a dark history of corruption, racism and brutality. The low point may have been the Danziger Bridge episode, after Hurricane Katrina, when police shot unarmed people, then covered up the crime.

These days, the department is trying to rebuild the public's trust — which is where the body cameras come in.

New Orleans is making progress toward losing the "murder capital" label. For a second straight year, homicides declined in the city, in keeping with a nationwide trend.

For African-Americans in the city, though, the numbers are less comforting. Of the nearly 350 killings in the past two years, 91 percent of the victims have been black. It's a cycle that's worrisome to the city's African-American community — and law enforcement.