New Report Digs Into New Orleans, Louisiana Designation as the Nation’s ‘Murder Capital’
NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPEL News) - The Big Easy has long been plagued with a crime problem, but 2022 proved to be an extremely deadly year - and violence in the city only seems to be escalating.
In September 2022, New Orleans earned the designation of "Murder Capital" of the United States by the Metropolitan Crime Commission, and it's not the first time it claimed the title.
As of September, homicides were up by 46 percent from the same time in 2021 and up 141 percent since 2019, according to MCC.
At the time, Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission said most of the violent crimes were being committed in two main police districts - New Orleans East and Central City.
"If you can reduce crime by 50% in those two districts," he explained, "you are reducing violent crime by 25% in the entire city of New Orleans."
NBC News dug into the problems in the city, and the report is pretty brutal.
"More than a dozen killings to start the year," the NBC reporter said, "picking up from an epidemic level in 2022."
One of the people she interviewed lost a son to violence.
"In an American city, in the middle of the afternoon, in the parking lot of a grocery store," she said, "my son was killed."
That mother was Sheralyn Price, the mother of comedian Brandon Montrell, who was murdered in the city just before Christmas. Hers is just one of several stories NBC shares with their national audience. Police say he was the unintended victim of a shootout.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell makes an appearance in the news report, but they mention the fact that she is currently embroiled in several personal scandals, ranging from unapproved expenditures, allegations of an affair, and appearing to support a young carjacker in court.
She is also facing a recall effort that may end up falling short.
Cantrell has empaneled a task force to offer solutions to the city's crime problems, but the stats are brutal. Along with the homicides, NBC News cites 539 carjackings in 2023 alone - that is, less than a month into the year - which is more than double the number from last year.
The number of carjackings, in which criminals take the car while the owner is inside, was 270 last year.
The city of New Orleans cities little evidence showing their efforts are making a significant impact. They do say they have removed 30 abandoned cars from the streets of New Orleans and broken street lights have been fixed.