August 16, 2007

12 Days, 12 Murders

From August 4, 2007, to yesterday.
Pablo Mejia Jr., August 4
A man in the Iberville projects, August 5
Thomas Jackson, August 6
A man in New Orleans East, August 7
The Philips brothers, August 8
Luong Nguyen and Anjelique Vu, August 11
Two men in Treme, August 13
Cornelius Curry, August 14
Nia Robertson, last night
Are you mad, yet? I am.

Today, the NOPD released the official 2007 2nd Quarter statistics to the media. The 2007 1st Quarter statistics popped up on their website at the beginning of the week.

The official analysis
Looking at just the numbers, violent crime is up 49%, non-violent crime is up 23% and total crimes are up 13%.

If you look at the crime rate as a percent of the population, violent crime is still up by 12%, non-violent crime is down 11% and total crimes are down 8%.
Determining the rate is a function of dividing by the population. So, a bigger population lowers all the raw data. The population the NOPD used was 294,000.

The article cited above states: “There were 48 murders in the city from April to June. That number is up 26% over the same time period last year.”

I count 49, and I have links to all of the news stories done on them. Rather than post them here, you can count for yourself on the Times-Picayune 2007 Murders blog which corresponds to my numbers. I want to double check the NOPD’s number, but the 2nd quarter stats are not on their website as of this post.

[UPDATE: Arthur Jackson was shot on the last day of June and died the first day of July. The NOPD might count that murder in the next quarter.]

Katrina devastated the city. And everyone in the criminal justice system can point to all the ways Katrina made their jobs harder.

Criminologist Peter Scharf addresses this:
"The hurricane theories, morphing of drug groups, or that the NOPD is in a trailer, really don't make sense," Scharf said. "You look at the leadership in this city to the leadership in cities that have been reasonably successful, and it's night and day."
It’s two years later. No more excuses. And we should champion that person who stands up and gives none. When that person stands up…

And *we* need to stand up to. When’s the next march? It was 5,000 strong then, and there is all the more reason to march today. Make that yesterday.

We are 123 murders into this year. Will we keep making excuses? What will be the excuse for the next murder? The one after that?

Here’s my goal:
NOLA will have the lowest per capita murder rate in the United States for cities with populations between 250,000 and 300,000.
How do we get there? Think about that.

It’s not: “What can we do?” It’s: “What will we do?”

1 comment:

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Yeah, it is time to get folks back into the streets, because apparently the message delivered in January was not heeded by the powers that be.

I'm sure it will happen once this Dean thing goes away.