Public concern turning to public action against violent crime in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As violent crime continues to dominate headlines in New Orleans, tensions in the community are at a fever pitch and public concern is turning into public action.
Actor and Anti-crime activist Ameer Baraka says the community is fed up with the city’s violence.
“People are running amok in the streets. There are videos with kids holding AK47′s in their hands with long clips. They will kill you. So you’re allowing the next generation of young boys to see these young guys do this,” says Baraka. “The community has always been concerned, but now they see that we’re not getting results from the NOPD and it’s time for us to step up.”
Gunmen killed a man as he sat in front of Big Daddy’s at Royal and Franklin Avenue early Tuesday morning.
Matthew Kodrin woke up to the gunfire.
“I’ve had 17 months in Afghanistan seeing similar things. I guess it brought back an emotional numbness and detachment that I wish I had forgotten about,” says Kodrin.
Still, he says no one should become complacent.
“We should demand more of ourselves. We should be looking out for one another, and we should be demanding more of our elected officials and our public servants. If they’re unable to do the job that they were hired to perform, they need to say so and let us know what we need to do to help them,” says Kodrin.
The NOPD admits that they can’t do it alone.
“We have to step up as a city and say ‘enough is enough,’” says Chief Shaun Ferguson.
The NOPD says it has noticed an uptick in community involvement. They say people are reaching out to them with the information they need to solve crimes.
“This has been going on for so long now, and I think people are fed up. They’re moving. People are getting engaged and I’m excited about that,” says Baraka.
Meanwhile, the lawlessness that happened last weekend prompted many to call Crimestoppers with tips.
Darlene Cusanza points out that people tired of the violence can also get involved in other ways.
“Whether it’s reaching out to the family members, going to community meetings or being your neighborhood watch, there are a lot of things we can do to have a better quality of life and a safer place for all of us,” says Cusanza.
“We need to come out and get involved. Raise your voice because we have the power. We have to tell people, you’re not going to this in my community,” says Baraka.
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