Thursday, January 11, 2007
New Orleans residents: 'Tired of Being a Target'
Anderson is doing the show from here in New Orleans Thursday night and one of the subjects we are tackling is the community response to the recent spate of murders in the city.

Last night, I spent some time with residents in the Bywater district as they made signs for Thursday's big march to City Hall. The idea for the march began among residents in the Bywater and Marigny districts, which are located just east of the famous French Quarter, but has become a citywide event that will take place later this morning.

One event that helped galvanize city residents is the well-publicized shooting death of filmmaker Helen Hill. She and her husband, Dr. Paul Gailiunas, were shot in the doorway of their home in the Marigny district on January 4th. Hill's husband survived, but she was killed, leaving behind a two-year-old son.

New Orleans has seen nine murders since January 1 and residents in the Bywater neighborhood, like Jim Mondoro, don't see the city doing much to control the situation. Jim told me that part of the problem is that city leaders tend to ignore areas Marigny and Bywater, which are not frequented by tourists. He said that he and his neighbors do their best to keep an eye out for each other, but that hasn't stopped serious crimes from happening.

Longtime resident Karen Rittvo knows six people, all New Orleans residents, who have been killed since July. This crime spike is even more of a concern for her because not a single arrest has been made in any of these deaths.

Last night, Jim, Karen and their neighborhood friends painted posterboards with slogans like "Tired of Being a Target" and "Enough is Enough" in hopes that Mayor Ray Nagin and the city's police chief will come out and speak with them about solutions to what they see as a problem that will not go away.

Mayor Nagin held a press conference on Tuesday and announced new crimefighting initiatives, including more police foot patrols and expediting murder investigations. Jim and Karen don't think that's enough. They hope that somehow, today's march will force the city to take more action. Nine murders since January 1st is more than enough for these angry and scared New Orleanians.
Posted By Kay Jones, CNN Producer: 10:07 AM ET
  79 Comments
I will be watching 360 tonight to see and hear what is really being done to stop these murders. My daughter just graduated from LSU and received a fantastic job offer in New Orleans and I did everything in my power to convince her to stay in Baton Rouge. Until the mayor and the police chief get this situation under control, how can we feel safe in New Orleans? As a business owner in the French Quarter, I feel the leaders of our city owe us much more than they are presently giving us.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, LaPlace, LA. : 10:27 AM ET
Hi Kaye, I'm so sorry to hear about all these murders. As if there wasn't enough to overcome in New Orleans, the residents must wonder if their lives will ever be normal again. Hopefully if Anderson and other media put the spotlight back on the Gulf Coast, things will start to improve on every level.
As a last resort tell Anderson to call Steven Segal!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ontario Canada : 10:36 AM ET
While Bush is busy trying to clean up the mess he's made in Iraq, this is going on in his own country and he is not adressing it? To me, that is inacceptable.

Since Katrina, there as been a surge of violence in the area, it's not news. But that nothing concrete has been done 18 months after the fact is unbelievable.

It must be like living in the far west. I hope that the voices of the residents will be heard.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R. Laval Quebec : 10:43 AM ET
Someone forgot to mention that a large portion of the jails were emptied out to avoid evacuation.
Posted By Anonymous Sallie Jones OKC OK : 10:45 AM ET
My family and I decided to return to NOLA following Katrina despite losing everything we own as well as my husband losing his job. We felt that we needed to teach our son commitment to a place, even one as devastated as our own beloved home.

We knew we would have a rough time over the next few years, but it's gotten to the point that we are desperately trying to leave NOLA and relocate elsewhere in Louisiana. The lack of jobs, of city services, of feeling safe, of effective local leadership is getting to be too much. My employer, a university in town, constantly touts how they are leading the NOLA recovery; yet, they've made their staff into indentured servants with their post-Katrina policies.

I love NOLA--I am even completing a Master's dealing with NOLA history and my family has been here over two hundred years. I can't imagine living anywhere else, but it's getting to the point of not being able to afford to stay, mentally, financially, and emotionally.
Posted By Anonymous M, New Orleans : 11:00 AM ET
Katrina just highlighted the fact that New Orleans history has always been, and always will be a high crime city. Dont look for police protection, we saw what the police did during and after Katrina, they were abandoning their posts, and did nothing to the stop crime and killing. You think they are going to start now?
Posted By Anonymous J Bear Lake Worth Florida : 11:03 AM ET
Shame on this administration! It looks like all George Bush has done in his terms is to plant fear in the American minds, create a big mess in Iraq, and grow it by sending more troops.

If the people in New Orleans cannot control the violence 18 months after a natural disaster, how can we expect the Iraqis to build a democratic system soon after being given a "chance"?

With gloabal warming (as denied by this administration), more severe natural disasters will occur. Are we and the government ready?
Posted By Anonymous Ling, Albany, NY : 11:09 AM ET
Why must Bush address this?? This is exactly what the incompetant MAYOR of NO and the NO POLICE DEPARTMENT are there for....HELLO, MCFLY!!!! If you had competent city leaders, who are there to take care of their city, this would not be a problem. But alas, the idiot nagin has shown on many occassions, he is not up to the task and will drop the ball repeatedly (directly on the exposed toes of those people he is supposed to serve).
Posted By Anonymous JR - Tallahassee : 11:10 AM ET
This is not a federal problem, nor has it ever been. New Orleans is and was a cesspool. Why does anyone think things would be better now? The Mayor is lost, Riley (Chief) is incompentent and Jordan (District Attorney) is the worst of the bunch. With these three leading the way, NO is in more trouble than they ever were. Sort of like covergance of evil that forms the "perfect storm".
Posted By Anonymous BC, Decatur, IL : 11:21 AM ET
New Orleans was a city with a severe crime problem before Katrina. It is absolutely crazy to think that the crime problem would solve itself after Katrina. To blame the federal government and President Bush for the crime problem in NOLA shows a lack of understanding of the history of that city and its failure to address crime long before Katrina.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Milwaukee Wi : 11:21 AM ET
It's like a self inflicted wound on the citizens of N.O. The citizens elected the same folk to do the same jobs they did before the hurricane and somehow they expected something would be different but I can't imagine why they would think that way.

City leaders are directly responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of their consituents and, unfortunately, those folk have suffered so much from the lack of skills of their elected officials but here they are.

We in readerland do enjoy your inside reporting from N.O. but it's kind of the same ol' story, different date. Let's move on.
Posted By Anonymous Mike from Houston : 11:24 AM ET
NOPD is negligent and crooked. Pre-katrina, I was carjacked in front of my residence. My vehicle was equipped with Lojack. NOPD apparently NEVER entered the vehicle information into the national computer system, they never informed the state police, and subsequently, my vehicle equipped with lojak was never tracked. And by the way, three sleazy Nopd detectives tried to get me to blame the crime on one of the mugshots they showed me even though I didn't recognize the guy. Lousy new orleans cops are worse than the criminals.
Posted By Anonymous Manny, NY NY : 11:26 AM ET
The constant assertions that the President is somehow responsible for crime in New Orleans are not only outlandish, they're embarassing - clearly few Americans learned anything in their basic civics classes. There is no federal agency that has any jurisdiction over these crimes. Additionally, there has been no 'surge' in crime in New Orleans after Katrina, just a return to the long standing pattern of Murder and violence in the city. One murder a day is par for the course in New Orleans, just look at the statistics. Its clear that NOPD simply can't handle the task its been assigned, and so its up to us as residents to protect ourselves. As Heinlen said, an armed society is a polite society.
Posted By Anonymous Landry, New Orleans : 11:28 AM ET
my husband and I spent 9-10 yrs in New Orleans- he in law enforcement. We have moved permanently away. New Orleans' problems are not ones to be cured by marches, vigils or prayers. The problem must be short-term improved by witnesses coming forth, judges holding prisoners, jails being built to accomodate population, and a sense of responsibility replacing a sense of entitlement; the long-term fixes MUST include schools that educate, families who will raise children, and an environment that promotes self sufficiency through jobs.
If any of those things do not occur, New Orleans (or anyplace else) will be lost. We mourn the city we loved.
Posted By Anonymous Barb Brown, Spring Lake,MI : 11:31 AM ET
Once a crime infested city, always a crime infested city. What, you think katrina washed away all the human trash? Oh yeah, I forgot, it's bush's fault.
Posted By Anonymous joe, albany, ny : 11:31 AM ET
Welcome to Baghdad, USA. Not a funny. Obviously, NOLA is less equipped to deal with the rise in violent crime that is evident across this country. The 'open borders', drugs, gangs, and the whole mess is leading to regular folks arming themselves in self-defense, as well as growing local militias. Not good, but no one seems to want to deal with the issues. The amazing thing is that the Mayor Nagins keep getting reelected and people keep buying the rhetoric coming from Homeland Security and others.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 11:31 AM ET
President Bush and the Congress MUST address this simply because these people individually and in toto are their constituents. The lack of Federal foresight in keeping levees and other protection (like the rapidly diminishing coastline)someplace on the agenda in favor of spending funds overseas in excess is just as bad as the lack of state and local control. We send so many National Guard to Iraq when perhaps their presence would make the violence a little less easy to escalate. Every state in this union has requested federal assistance for national disasters, Florida included. It has never been adequate, but it has been there. The mistakes made by the Feds directly after Katrina should not be ignored just because the people of News Orleans and the rest of the devastated Gulf Coast haven't 'gotten their act together' as soon as some would like.
Thanks for doing the program from NOLA, Anderson. People need to be reminded there is no such thing as an instant fix to something this tragic.
Posted By Anonymous Maryann Mercer Champaign IL : 11:44 AM ET
Having been in New Orleans in the summmer and seen for myself, I've been trying to stay in touch with what's going on and to find ways to help if I can. The people there are constantly in my thoughts and they have been working so hard to rebuild their lives, and are so eager for positive stories, positive press about New Orleans' recovery. On Saturday, when I saw the front page of the Globe and Mail about the home invasion, the murder of Helen Hill, the wounding of her husband, Dr. Gailiunus, and that their young son was protected by his father's body, I had an initial sense of hopelessness for New Orleans. These people were trying to be a positive force in rebuilding. I hope that the people there won't give up and that people won't move away. Sean Calebs had done a report in the last couple of days, and I think I recall that the police chief in NOLA had indicated something to the effect that it was perhaps about time for the citizens of New Orleans to speak up about crime in the city. Why should it be up to the citizens to protest to the police force in order for the authorities to take action? However, I also know the police are coping with a reduced numbers of officers. The mayor has spoken about not wanting to impose curfews because it might hurt the tourism industry. For those who want to visit New Orleans, the reports of rising crime are not reassuring. This seems like the same reasoning that resulted in such tragedy after Katrina, in not wanting to have a mandatory evacuation because of the impact on hotels and tourism. As part of this, I'm wondering what's being done to support the youth in New Orleans. I suspect that the changes and lack of community support in the city, are impacting youth. Adolescents have had a real desire to return to the city and feel very connected to New Orleans, but many have returned without their parents because there are no jobs for their parents. This places these young people at risk, especially with the drug and gang activity that's being reported.
Posted By Anonymous Vicky, Ottawa, ON : 11:45 AM ET
Not a fan of Bush but he's NOT responsible for New Orlean's crime nor is he responsible for solving it. That is up to the big mouth Nagin everyone voted back as mayor. New Orleans has ALWAYS had a high crime rate due to the high poverty rates - again, not Bush's fault. AND for the last 20 or 30 years had the most corrupt law enforcement & government agencies in the U.S. Ray Nagin needs to clean up his own mess in his own "chocolate city". Each state is responsible for it's own policing - not the president. I guess Louisiana / New Orleans should be voting for better leaders and not waiting on handouts from the government like it's used to.
Posted By Anonymous Rebekah, Metarie, LA : 11:47 AM ET
What do you expect? The problems of New Orleans are with it's population.
These people are 3rd generation "GREAT SOCIETY" victims. Way to go, LBJ. New Orleans is just this first city to morph into Lagos of the West.
Posted By Anonymous Allen M. Cameron, Sugar Land, Texas : 11:48 AM ET
While it's true that New Orleans has had a significant crime problem for years, the same can be said for every major U.S. city. New Orleans is trying to survive and rebuild with less than half of its tax base in place. Increasing police presence is a costly and time-consuming process. The remaining citizens of New Orleans are already seeing burdonsome tax increases, insurance costs rising, and utility rate increases. All this to try and support an infrastructure that will serve not only the populated and relatively unscathed areas of the city, but also to bring back services to areas of the city that are, today, essentially deserted. And, if history is any indicator, I doubt that any of these increases will be rolled back when (if) the city does return to a semblance of its former self.

And, while Mayor Nagin is mostly persona non grata, Police Chief Riley is doing a heck of a job for a man caught in the position he is in. He deserves support, not derision.
Posted By Anonymous Dean, New Orleans, LA : 12:06 PM ET
The police department was corrupt before Katrina, it's corrupt now. They need to clean up the police FIRST (start at the top, then work down through the department because the attitude of the Chief is the attitude of the workers), then clean up the city.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 12:19 PM ET
Hi Kay,
I'm glad the spotlight is on New Orleans again. Maybe CNN could interview Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin. They have some explaining to do. Please don't forget the rest of the Gulf. I'd like an update on Mississippi too. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 12:39 PM ET
I don't understand why it is taking so long for New Orleans to get back into shape. What is it that this country is doing with the money that was suppose to go down to them? Is there any money? Is it all going to those crooked ex-reps that are still getting pensions while they are in prison. In other times when there were hurricanes that hit, Weren't those taken care of faster than what this one has been?
I just understand what is taking so long.
Posted By Anonymous Eric, Wapakoneta, OH : 12:40 PM ET
Go Saints!!
Posted By Anonymous Bill W, Coatesville, PA : 12:42 PM ET
Hi Kay~
I have a friend who lives in the Frence quarter. When I visit him now he tells me that it is no longer safe to walk at night alone because crime has escalated since Katrina. Indeed when I visit I feel an sense of urgency among the people who live there. They don't feel safe anymore. Thanks 360 for keeping them honest and remembering this city. Keep on until New Orleans is back. I love NOLA!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 12:43 PM ET
It's good to see the show living up to what Anderson set out to do for New Orleans. Good job keeping them honest!
Posted By Anonymous Marcie, San Diego, Ca : 12:49 PM ET
Marigny and Bywater ARE frequented by tourists!! I have been going to NOLA for years and since Katrina I have been there 5 times - I always go over to Frenchmen Street!! But this year at Mardi Gras I will not go over there. It's only a matter of time until a tourist gets shot over there.
Posted By Anonymous Erin, Phoenix, AZ : 12:52 PM ET
Until they stop the drugs and guns from coming into the city, we don't stand a chance. Until they get the so called "Road Home' working properly for the homeowners to return, we don't stand a chance. Until businesses, hospitals and schools (schools that work) open up so the working class can get jobs to return, we don't stand a chance. Until parents are held accountable for the actions of their children, we don�t stand a chance. Until we bring GOD and respect back into our lives, we don�t stand a chance. Hard working, single mother, homeowner with two dogs; "Do you know what it's like to miss New Orleans"..to miss your family, your friends, your home, your city, to know that you may never see some of your neighbors again. My neighborhood was very diverse, we shared in my neighborhood, we had BBQ�s and crawfish boils, the children and pets played out doors feeling safe because we are PARENTS. On New Years I hosted the party and everyone was invited. This is the real New Orleans family, friends and neighbors working together. Yes, I know what it is like to "miss New Orleans" to miss my home.
Posted By Anonymous M. Trepagnier Pensacola, FL : 12:55 PM ET
Where is the increase in murders? Looking at the numbers there actually seems to be a decrease. There were 161 murders in 2006, opposed to 275 in 2003 (BEFORE hurricane Katrina), 212 in 2001, and 230 in 1998 (BEFORE President Bush). Look at the facts http://www.nola.com/speced/cycleofdeath/pdf/02080405.pdf
Posted By Anonymous KC, Arlington, VA : 1:00 PM ET
Maybe BushCo isn't responsible for NO, but geez...I would certainly hope that if my state and local governments were this incompetent that the FEDS would step in and take care of us. The law abiding citizens of NO are still Americans and don't deserve to live in such conditions.

Regardless, I would never stay their and risk the lives of my family.
Posted By Anonymous tammy , spartanburg, SC : 1:14 PM ET
I am a New Orleanian born and raised. Here's the truth.

Fact: crime has always been bad here, moreso after Katrina.
Myth: It is like Baghdad.

I still feel safe in my city and so should anyone who wants to visit. Everything that happens here gets reported - what about DC, Baltimore, NYC, LA, etc?

We're a struggling city - in every way (crime included). We need the help that Mr. Bush promised but hasn't delivered - desperately. But make no mistake, New Orleans still has a lot to offer - the music is still great; the food is still great; most of the French Quarter, Downtown and Uptown are in good shape; and the people are still friendly (though we can get a little edgy a little easier these days - but you can understand I'm sure).

See you soon - we need your business.
Posted By Anonymous Miles, New Orleans : 1:22 PM ET
The vast majority of citizens made the decision to reelect Ray Nagin as mayor. The United States Government gave funds to the state of Louisiana to rebuild the levys in New Orleans; the funds were not used for that purpose.

As mayor, Ray Nagin refused to call in the national guard or follow the emergency evacuation plan for his citizens.

Do the citizens really expect change? New Orleans, although beautiful and full of culture and history, has always been known as a city rampant with crime. Not just petty theft, but, murder, political corruption, and the like.

The state of Texas welcomed the citizens of New Orleans with open arms. The Texas governor and mayors of Houstn and Dallas did more with effiency to assist the people of Louisiana than the governor of Louisiana or the mayor of New Oreans.

Although Texas communities welcomed the citizens of Louisiana; greeting them with food,clothing, shelter, jobs, and home furnishings. We also encountered an instatnt increase in crime. Just check the crime statistics for Dallas and Houston.
Posted By Anonymous Lauren, Garland, Texas : 1:25 PM ET
I'm very grateful that CNN is in New Orleans to focus on how bad the crime has gotten. I love going to New Orleans, but with the rumors of gang violence and the increase in murders, I haven't gone as much as I normally would. I want to continue to go there and spend money there to help the economy. It's so important that New Orleans is able to come back not only because its residents deserve it. It would represent an enormous failure on the part of our government-both federal and local if it doesn't. Ray Nagin needs to step up and do his job-he owes New Orleans at least that. He needs to protect people better than what he's done.

Someone should tell Anderson and crew to check out Taqueria Corona restaurant on Magazine Street. It's fabulous. Another great thing about New Orleans-its restaurants.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 1:26 PM ET
This from the Denver Post:

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the central part of Colorado after todays snowstorm.

WEATHER BULLETIN

Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions"
with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90
MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads,isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

FYI:

George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5

snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No
Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for
a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire
departments delivered
it to the snowbound families.

Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out co al oil lanterns or Coleman
lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or
Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out
of
a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades
votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen
this
early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about
48
degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world 's social problems evaporate."

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a
living.
Posted By Anonymous Rob, Fort Collins, CO : 1:29 PM ET
We are not trash & we did not bring this on ourselves. We have a lot of issues to deal with, not just crime. We are trying to rebuild our infrastructure, literally from the ground up, with very little help from "our" federal government. The area of NO that flooded is 7 times the size of Manhattan & almost the same size as Great Britain. I'm tired of 'where did the money go,' 'why is it taking so long,' and 'you need to get right with God.' That's all misdirection & any of you still saying that need to get to NO & see for yourself. FEMA is useless, insurance companies are screwing us & Bush has his head up Iraq. Maybe it's not Bush's fault, but I learned in civics that the federal government was supposed to work FOR it's citizens, not AGAINST them.
Posted By Anonymous gf, new orleans, la : 1:34 PM ET
So how was the $110 billion Pres. Bush approved for the Gulf Coast allocated? For what did Mr.Nagin, Ms. Blanco, et al. use those funds? Send Anderson to Baton Rouge to track that money trail because the more time that's allowed to pass, the more murky those facts will become.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 1:42 PM ET
I'm sorry you've gotten what you voted for.....I lost hope when you re-elected an incompetent. I, looking from another state, hoped people in NO would realize THEY are in charge, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT....do you want to give up everything to Washington. Take your darn city back and vote for a different administration next time --
Posted By Anonymous Lee, Houston, Texas : 1:44 PM ET
Mayor Nagin plans to decrease the amount of crime in NOLA, huh? I wonder if his crimefighting plans will be as effective as his evacuation plan worked during Katrina...
Posted By Anonymous JB, Memphis, TN : 1:55 PM ET
I am not a fan of President Bush, but he is not responsible for the crime in New Orleans. This was ongoing before Katrina and if people believed somehow the storm would clean the element out, they were sadly mistaken. I'm very confused over how Nagin was voted back into office. It is about time we start taking personal responsiblity for our cities and stop relying on a government we have seen fail over and over again. Here's a thought, if you do not like the state government, perhaps you should not vote to put the man back in office who has a record of doing nothing to stop crime and police corruption.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine, Woodland Hills, CA : 2:14 PM ET
I used to live in N.O. I left after Katrina. The lack of coherent plan to equip the police force is baffling, many still do not have landline phones working from cell phones. That being said, there were two major problems with respect to crime in N.O.
1. Sloppy police work that led to many criminals out on the street i.e., the DA was unable to effectively prosecute
2. #1 led to citizens becoming unwilling to be called on as "witnesses" b/c the criminals would come back w/o a conviction and take on the witnesses. It became an unending circular death spiral.
Until the justic system is cleaned up, the "good ole boy" network disrupted I can't predict this will end soon
Posted By Anonymous Jenny, Columbia SC : 2:19 PM ET
the murders have increased per capita. the population of n.o. is a lot smaller now.
Posted By Anonymous cindy new orleans, la : 2:20 PM ET
The city of New Orleans needs to resort to drastic measures in cutting the crime rate in the city. Bring in more National Guard, get rid of every sticking city, parish, district and federal judge in New Orleans. Put judges in place who will not let known drug dealers, child abusers, sum-bag losers out on bail. Keep them locked up and give every one of them the maximum sentence allowed by law for the crime they commit.

There is so much crime in New Orleans because law breakers know they will get it easy from the loser, liberal, brain dead judges. They are killing the city.Also get rid of the chocolate mayor.

I use to live in the New Orleans area and will never go back, not even to visit. Every one I talk to in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex who evacuated to this area before Katrina said they they would never go back to live. And we are talking about people who have roots in New Orleans going back to the 1800's.
Posted By Anonymous Ike Graves, Fort Worth, Texas : 2:27 PM ET
To me these problems are not Bush,s fault but the blame is with the officals in NO. Why did they elect the Mayor back in office when he is one who clearly made mistakes after Katrina. From what I hear and see on TV they also need to redo the police dept. Maybe NO needs all new officals.
Posted By Anonymous Sandra Belvin Richmond,VA : 2:28 PM ET
Glad to see Anderson is there. As a native of NO who lives in Houston I am with the marchers in spirit.
Posted By Anonymous MET houston TX : 2:30 PM ET
This is a sad fact here in New Orleans that it's the community that has to get the attention of our nation to get us much needed help. I'd love to know where Mayor Nagin is going to get these "foot patrols" from - from all the news reports we hear about the NOPD is lacking, that's why the National Guard is driving around here in their Humvee's aren't they?

It's the citizens of New Orleans that are going to take back our city - we know we can't depend on the government to help us out - have you seen us lately? And what did Bush talk about last night - more troops and more money to rebuild Iraq - WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN PEOPLE MR. PRESIDENT???? Your wife was here for her photo-op this week... guess you'll be visiting us soon too. Did you want to come down here and pat Ray on the back like you did Brownie and tell him what a good job he's doing?
Posted By Anonymous G.A. New Orleans, LA : 2:36 PM ET
I guess it's the federal government's fault because of the FEMA debacle. But keep in mind that if you live below sea level eventually that sea will claim what belongs to it.
As for the ever-rising murder rate, come on out to Tucson where the Old West and Mexican mentalities collide. Hey, we depend on that to keep our murder rate up there with the best of them. It would all be very funny if it were not so downright sad.
Posted By Anonymous Art, Tucson AZ : 2:36 PM ET
Local media is fascinated with Nagin instead of the points addressed at todays march. What a shame. The story and soundbites should recap what was said, not whether Ray Nagin spoke or not. There are no political Messiahs.
Posted By Anonymous Reid. New Orleans, LA. : 2:37 PM ET
Lawlessness in New Orleans did not start with Katrina nor is it the fault of our federal government, but it is every Americans problem. New Orleans is fighting for its very survivals and barely has sticks to fight with. There is not the manpower or other resources to deal with this crime wave. We as a nation send thousands of troops and spend billions of dollars when securing a region is deemed to be in our best interest. Isn't the stability of a key American port city in this nations best interest? If we can agree on this point, we can come together for a solution.
Posted By Anonymous Rex, New Orleans : 2:42 PM ET
Hey AC and Kay: Where is Miss Landrieu in all this? We haven't heard her in the news lately, Anderson, you should have a live rematch, Bet she's scared of you...I would like to go there and help as much as I can there because I believe that if put our hands and ideas together, we will rebuild New Orleans and the surroundings faster than FEMA or other representatives from the governement of Mr. Bush. What a shame! If we don't do anything about it, I bet that it will the same in 2-3 years...Again, actions speak louder that words! Who can I contact so that I can help? Thanks!
Posted By Anonymous Josee (Montreal, Canada) : 2:43 PM ET
Count the marchers! This march today was the largest march I have seen here in 21 years of calling New Orleans my home. I suggest that more than 20,000 people marched for peace -- and justice -- in New Orleans. Don't short change us by saying that only 1000 marched. It's a lie and it's despicable.
Posted By Anonymous Rich Magill, New Orleans LA : 2:46 PM ET
Maybe we should have an exchange program where we train Iraqi troops on the streets of New Orleans.
Posted By Anonymous Colleen, Philadelphia, PA : 2:46 PM ET
Hey KC...the current population of NOLA is about HALF of what it was before Katrina. Currently the murder rate is at something like 8 times the national average. (Hmmmm...if you want to double the 161 figure to account for the full population, that would come out to 322).

It seems that you have been getting your numbers from Riley!!
Posted By Anonymous Erin, Phoenix, AZ : 2:47 PM ET
KC from Arlington. The population is alot less than it was, only at about 200,000 now. So the crime rate has actually gone up because the years you mentioned the population was quite a bit more.
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Halifax, Nova Scotia : 2:53 PM ET
I'm glad that Mayor Nagin has announced his plan, his "crime fighting initiatives". I hope it doesn't take him as long to get these going as it did for him to complete his first 100 day promises (let me clue you in - it took a lot longer than 100 days).

What is sad is that it's taken the community to get our government to act. The City and State governments were going to sit by and let things happen until the neighborhood groups got together and then suddenly Mayor Nagin, Sen. Mary Landrieu and others decided to put together their "crime fighting initiatives" - that's the biggest problem here... everyone acts separately, never together. Let's get our heads out of the sand and act in the best interest of the people who elected you into office and pay your salaries! Criminals don't pay taxes, criminals don't vote yet you let them be the guide.

Albert Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." We need to all keep that in mind.
Posted By Anonymous Gretchen Schneider, New Orleans LA : 2:56 PM ET
The chief of police and Nagin seem to be still caught in a state of emergency. How can martial law just become the means of governing one city in the U.S. They should ask for solutions if their own citizens are scared to live their lives.
Posted By Anonymous israel, raleigh, nc : 2:56 PM ET
New Orleans folks need to take control of their city. The truth is that they just dont have pride in themselves, so why should they care about their city. Been there many times, and it is sad to see the corruption and lazy folks everywhere. The truth hurts.
Posted By Anonymous Joe PHx AZ : 2:57 PM ET
J Bear hit it right on the nose. The police in NO are as corrupt as the people who are ravaging the streets. Don't blame Bush New Orleans, you have city officials who are responsible for your city. Once you blame the fed gov't, then you basicly throwing your elected officials to the curb. It shows that they were no good to begin with. Good Luck New Orleans, you're gonna need it.
Posted By Anonymous Joe, CC, Texas : 3:02 PM ET
I just returned from the march. Thousands turned out and the crowd was diverse, peaceful, passionate, sad and angry.

We all know the problems here
are complex and deep rooted. There is plenty of blame to go around, including on the shoulders of George Bush and our federal government. The murderers here are the products of a society that spends over half of the federal budget on "defense", spends billions in Iraq each month, while allowing the blight from years of poverty, racism, classism, deplorable public schools, inadequate housing and health care to languish.

New Orleans is a wonderful city with a fiercely determined, resilient community of citizens. We will save this city with or without the George Bush or Ray Nagin. Our real leaders are grass roots activists.
Posted By Anonymous JDK, New Orleans, LA : 3:04 PM ET
After Nagin was re-elected all we heard about was the big plan for getting NOLA rebuilt with assistance of the government. All we've seen is the residents rebuiilding NOLA themselves without assistance; everything from rebuilding their own home themselves to collecting trash on the streets. Will they now have to provide their own safety? How much devastation do they need to go through before the governement puts the roll of red tape down and steps up to help them?
Posted By Anonymous Cindy, Seattle WA : 3:05 PM ET
KC - the increase is in the number of murders per capita. We lost over half our people after Katrina, but in 2006 we had a murder rate higher than half our pre-K murder rate, which was unacceptable to begin with. A murder a day will have us at 365 murders in 2007. That's an extraordinarily high murder rate. Look at the facts.
Posted By Anonymous Alice, New Orleans LA : 3:06 PM ET
Here's my whole issue with this march on crime. This march simply highlights the racial problems that still exist in this city. Where were all of these people when young black men and women were getting killed from the latter part of 2006 to now? It's only after the murder of a white woman that they want to cry for a change.

A life is a life. It doesn't matter who it is and the lifestyle they lived. No one deserves to lose their lives to murder. My heart goes out to everyone in the doctor's family as well as those who have lost loved ones. This problem will never go away unitl we can come together. To do so, we have to be willing to openly admit our problems in order to find ways to resolution. The cycle will continue until we are able to do just that.

There were three separate marches today in New Orleans. In my opinion, that's truly sad. If we were truly committed to making a change in this community, a stronger sign of unity against crime would have been one march, one people. But as always, these things can't happen here.

Some things change, but others remain the same. Thus is the life of post-Katrina New Orleans.
Posted By Anonymous TJ Wright, New orleans, LA : 3:15 PM ET
You can't blame Bush for the problem in New Orleans but you can blame Bush because he declared a UNNECESSARY war and is pouring BILLIONS into IRAQ, that money could have HELPED fix the gulf coast problem.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon, LeClaire, Iowa : 3:17 PM ET
KC- there may not be an increase in murders, but the population is at least 50% less than it was before Katrina.

I live in the Irish Channel, which is adjacent to the Garden District. The day after Christmas a popular bar by my house was robbed at gunpoint. One man was kicked and had 6 of his ribs broken and the female bartender was pistol whipped. Two teenage boys were arrested yesterday in connection with the robbery. Saturday morning a cop chased a car down my street. The car crashed into a parked car and the perp fled on foot. Guess what, no arrests.

Every night I hear gun shots and police sirens. As a young woman, Im not sure how much longer I can stay in the city I love.

Riley and Jordan should be fired and Nagin should be recalled. I did not vote for him and lets rememeber that he only won the election by 5000 votes. The are completely inept and I believe apathetic. They are trying to stop the murders by pulling more cops to do DWI checkpoints. I feel safer already...
Posted By Anonymous PD, New Orleans : 3:18 PM ET
Anderson,
Make sure you ask Gov. Blanco if whe plans on firing the individuals who were responsible for the proposal submission to FEMA for funding. Miss. who had less damage got 3/4 of the money. La. didn't answer the appropriate questions and therefore got minimal money. The Gov.'s answer of course is that its Bush's fault,and the Republicans. The real reason is she hired incompetent proposal writters. This state has the absolute worst government leadership. They continue to worry about the local Reverends who all have separate agendas, none of which are targeting the infrustructure of a devestated Louisiana.
Posted By Anonymous B.J.Lawrence Mandeville,La : 3:20 PM ET
Landry, you're totally wrong in stating that "no federal agency has jurisdiction over these crimes." Federal law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, have the power to police our country with respect to a large variety of gun crimes, and the Attorney General, through U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, has jurisdiction to prosecute those crimes. See 18 U.S.C. � 921 et seq. When it comes to crime in New Orleans, these federal officials are probably just as negligent and incompetent as many of the local officials.
Posted By Anonymous B.A., New Orleans, LA : 3:21 PM ET
To M. Trepagnier
Yes I know what it means to miss New Orleans. I've missed my home everyday. I was a teacher in New Orleans and you could see the difference in the students daily they were getting tougher and tougher before Katrinia. Now they are back with no hope. The school system has let them down the government has let them down and now they are fightng back the only way they know how. I'm not suprised with the murders I'm suprised that the politicans are suprised. What happened to that John Wayne type of guy who patroled the streets after Katrinia bring him back so I can go back home.
Posted By Anonymous R Sebring memphis TN : 3:32 PM ET
A decrease in numbers of murders sure, but not a decrease in relation to population! We only have about HALF of the population back but yet we definitely don't have HALF the murders. You can skew the information any way you please. I just returned from the march to my office and am interested to see what the response will be from our officials, incompetent as they may be. Nagin stood there, Riley stood there. We did not give them an opportunity to speak or make excuses, this was our time to talk. Education, discipline, and PARENTING are the things we need to center on in New Orleans. Those are the underlying reasons for the continued violence in this city.
Posted By Anonymous Greg Rhoades, New Orleans, LA : 3:33 PM ET
I am SO SICK of people blaming Bush for their own problems... It blows my mind that Bush is expected to fix NOLA's problems... Excuse me, but when I visited NOLA 20 years ago, I was not impressed... We stopped at the visitor's center and they got out a map and marked in RED where not to visit because it wasn't safe... Half the city was marked... So what has changed that Bush can fix? Didn't I just read that they emptied the jails so as not to have to evacuate? Remember the gosh-awful crime that went on in the Super Dome after Katrina? Nothing has changed... NOLA is a Dirty Cess Pool, with some very good people who are way out-numbered... The only way to maybe clean it up is from the inside out!
Posted By Anonymous Sherry, Sarasota Fl : 3:37 PM ET
The violence that is gripping New Orleans is a symptom of a larger epidemic plaguing the country - here in Orlando we are facing a similar surge in gang and drug related murders and crime. The glorification of 'Thug' lifestyle in popular music exasperates the problem, and violent criminals whose sentences are up are being released into our society.
Our cities are facing a form of home grown terror and unless we commit dollars to wage war upon it I fear the situation will spiral further out of control.
Posted By Anonymous Shawn, Orlando FL : 3:42 PM ET
Per capita KC, per capita. Our population is less than half of what it was pre-K.

Also 9 murders in 9 days committed by young adults is pretty scary. I love this town but I've become a mix of a nervous wreck and a ball of rage. Nagin and Riley dealt us a slap in the face this afternoon by yet again avoiding taking accountability for crime and prosecution.

We need help, and also, it's not my job to raise other peoples kids- I don't know how and THAT'S WHY I DON'T HAVE KIDS! This is way out of our hands. I can't live elsewhere and should not have to.

Actions are welcome.
Posted By Anonymous JLK, New Orleans, LA : 3:44 PM ET
I just don't understand what the citizens of New Orleans expect the Mayor and Police Chief to do. These are crimes committed by thugs preying on each other for reasons only they can explain. No matter how many police officer are on the street, they can not be everywhere at one time.

To my knowlege these criminals are not targeting our visitors, they are targeting each other and in most instances they know each other.

It is such a disgrace that a handful of criminals are having such a hugh impact on the perception of our city.
Posted By Anonymous Diane, New Orleans, LA : 4:35 PM ET
Last Monday evening in NO at about 10:00, my husband and I were walking to our hotel at the corner of St. Louis and Royal from dinner past the police station in the French Quarter. Suddenly, I was taken aback to see a huge number of police cars parked outside the station, even on the sidewalk, and an equally large number of motorcycles inside the iron fence. We wondered to each other why so many officers in the station rather than patrolling the environs, especially in the light of the recent surge in crime and in the light of the fact that there are rarely few to none there in the day (as I took care to notice the next morning on our way to Breakfast at Brennan's). "Staff meeting?" I queried. Maybe. "Could be the football game," my husband countered. Could be.
Posted By Anonymous Frances Heller, Chattanooga TN : 4:47 PM ET
from Joanne in Quebec:
While Bush is busy trying to clean up the mess he's made in Iraq, this is going on in his own country and he is not adressing it? To me, that is inacceptable.


Well, it's not acceptable to the people of the US. But apparently our government has a different view. I do agree that it is shameful that living in a city in our own country can be compared to living in Baghdad.

Bush won't let our troops leave Iraq --- and wouldn't let them enter New Orleans.
How perverse is that??
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 5:24 PM ET
Kay/Anderson/AC360:

I just left New Orleans this past Monday after several interviews with volunteer groups and residents for an article I am writing. I stayed at a hotel on St Charles Street near the Garden District but I felt like I was visiting the set of NYPD. It was common to see police cars flying by and ambulances chasing after them. Before retiring, I saw several NOPD collecting at a local pub. They weren't there for dinner.

Police sirens blaring during the night pierced my sleep, but I just turned over and said to myself that this was probably the status quo in this city.

I remember talking to a local bus driver and a cabbie that day warning me where not to travel alone into certain areas of New Orleans and especially not to drive at night on St Charles Street under the interstate.

The bus driver told me he had celebrated his daughter's tenth birthday and was getting out of New Orleans as soon as possible. He did not want his daughter to grow up as a teenager in this city. He lost everything in the flood.

The cabbie told me it was hard to start over but the pay was good enough for a cab driver in New Orleans to stay and rebuild.

But the violence was not only reserved to the New Orleans city limits. I was traveling on I-10 to Baton Rouge and witnessed state troopers handcuffing a motorist as well as placing a covered body on stretcher.

With 80% of the city water-soaked by flooding a year and half ago, the homes still look like they have black eyes because of empty windows and darken rooms even during the brightness of the day.

I stopped by what looked like a "mom and pop" pub sitting at the end of flooded strip mall. The stairs were water-logged and peeling. Its interior, like many establishments, was littered with the ceiling collapsed on the floor. Ironically, two shot glasses on the counter still looked like they were waiting to be refilled. These are images I still see today, January 2007, on my first trip to New Orleans.

Helen Hill's death is tragic. But it is only a symptom of the violence and unrest still existing in this city 17 months after Hurricane Katrina.

After hearing last night about the $357 Billion dollar+ price tag President Bush has spent in Iraq, thank you for going back to New Orleans for a reality check!! I am looking forward to tonight's broadcast! Please keep going back!
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 5:41 PM ET
Why not bring Rudy Gulliani to New Orleans as a crime consultant?

Surely if he can bring Central Park from its reputation as a haven for muggers to it being known as a safe family-oriented place, the same can be done in NO. Look at the difference in populations between the cities. Surely, if it was done in New York...
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 6:09 PM ET
If you do not live in New Orleans or the surrounding area and have not been here in the past year and a half, please keep your comments to yourself. Just b/c you occasionally hear a report on CNN, FOX, Limbaugh, wherever, does not mean you have any idea what is going on here. $110 billion has NOT been given to the City or the State by Bush, not even $11 billion has come. Yes, our politicians are idiots, and I was upset when several were re-elected, but last time I checked congressmen in Ohio and San Diego have been jailed for corruption, and indicted even in TX! To the pleased with himself gentleman from Colorado, did that snow flood 100,000 houses and cause mass destruction and evacuations? Have any of you people ever had to sue your insurance company, in a year of record profits for them nonetheless, b/c they undervalued and/or rejected your losses, thereby denying you the money you need to rebuild?

Please, please, realize you HAVE NO IDEA what happened here or what is going on here and stop your preaching. Stop listening to soundbites from hosts with their own agenda and thinking that you know what is going on here. YOU DON'T.

Thank you, and thanks for coming to NO Anderson to shed some light on how things really are.
Posted By Anonymous Wilson, New Orleans : 6:16 PM ET
Our work in Hopenetworks begged for reforms prior to the storms to assist, we had only 32 medical detox beds for the entire state--20 of those were in New Orleans at Charity.

No help for addicts=major major major problems with dealers finding endless demand for drugs....and I might a very hopeless and addicted population.

Now with 8 medical detox beds in Lafayette in total statewide, and a requirement that people have 72 hrs clean/sober to go into a "residential program" it is not possible to get many many many people the help they need.

I personally have dealt with so many people "trying" to get help but are turned away or are put on waiting lists of 3 to 4 weeks for an outpatient appointment.

If we can provision jail cells --we can provision addiction treatement services.

It is unfail, and impossible for law enforcement, and the judicial system to "fix" the root of this crime wave- which is a public health problem requiring those with addiction training and credentials to intervene before the problem gets even more tragic.

Comprehensive efforts are key- yet funding and support almost never reach those with these needs. The outreach should be in public, aggressive, and free from the shame and stigma that has brought too many to where we are today--

It is a choice that we have not made and must if we are to reduce the violence, crime, and general struggle that is very real for too many people in the city/state we are in.
Posted By Anonymous Samantha-Hope, Baton Rouge : 6:17 PM ET
You get what you vote for. Why would anyone Vote for Nagin after the horrible work he did before and after Katrina why would they think he would do any better if re-elected he still blames everyone else for all the problems.
Posted By Anonymous Gary formerly Biloxi, MS : 6:36 PM ET
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