As of Sept. 11, New Orleans has the highest rate of murders in the U.S, with 41 people killed per 100,000.
In the first three quarters of 2022, New Orleans saw 205 reported murders, 160 of those being fatal shooting incidents. This is a year-over-year increase of 141%, according to the nonprofit Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Carjackings have gone up 14% year-over-year, while armed robberies are up in New Orleans by 42% compared to 2021.
The police department is stretched thin, with the average 911 response taking two and a half hours, according to the Wall Street Journal.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told the Wall Street Journal that “The criminals are bolder and more brazen. They do not believe they will face any consequences for their actions.”
Police recruitment and operations are hampered by a lingering 2013 consent order that gives a judge and outside monitors oversight over the New Orleans Police Department.
New Orleans’ Democratic mayor LaToya Cantrell called for an end to the oversight in August, saying “The consent decree handcuffs our officers by making their jobs harder, pestering them with punitive punishment and burying them with paperwork that is an overburden,” according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Current Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Landry has also weighed in, saying that federal oversight is “a major obstacle to state and local collaboration to address critical threats to the public” with an “arbitrary and unrealistic standard,” according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune
Some business owners are leaving town because of the spike in crimes.
“I can’t put a 16-year-old kid at the register and he’s going to get two in the head,” restaurateur Michael Casey told the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Casey has since left the city for suburbia.
Auto shop owner Ibrahim Rabee told the publication about incidents near his store; gunmen threatening employees and threatening to shoot up the store, and multiple killings just blocks away.
“I’m thinking I’m not going to work another year here,” Mr. Rabee told the Wall Street Journal.