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New Orleans Area's Violence: "Crime Has Gone Haywire"

April 16, 2010 07:57:03 am

Homeowners and renters are reeling from rampant violence in a New Orleans police district that has logged 24 of the city's 62 homicides so far this year, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. They  pointed to the multimillion-dollar business of illegal drugs sales, no support for men and women exiting prison, and a less-than-substantial effort at community policing as some of the sources for what one woman characterized as too much black-on-black crime.

"Crime has gone haywire," said one of the 50 people who discussed their misery last night with with Capt. Carl A. Haydel of the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office and police Lt. Michael Brenckle. Vanessa Gueringer, a volunteer with the group "A Community Voice," an offshoot of the dismantled ACORN group, which organized the meeting, argued police have to focus on eliminating "the hot spots." Knowing where the drug marketplaces are and who works in them is different from proving that in court, Brenckle said. "We need people to testify in court" about what they have seen, he said. Several people at the gathering though bristled at the request. "Witnesses get killed," one person shouted. One resident said she was afraid to hang a Neighborhood Watch sign outside her home.

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