WWL>Topics>>7-1-14 2:45pm Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Press Conference

7-1-14 2:45pm Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Press Conference

Jul 1, 2014|

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu holds a press conference about crime in the city in the wake of this weekend's Bourbon Street shooting.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- -- I want welcome all of you today thank you for comment I'm joined by -- police chief on US attorney Kenneth Foley. Starlink is sands -- who is with crime stoppers New Orleans and of course. We have some state legislators with -- us and we believe we have our entire council thank all of you for. -- joining us today. As all of you know on Sunday ten people were wounded by gunfire in the shooting incident on Bergen street. First wanna begin -- and also sorry I am. To the victims. Who have been hurt. By this shameful and senseless. Act of violence. What happened is infuriating. It. Makes you wanna scream or cry. -- or both. And so wanna be clear to the victims and their families and to the people of New Orleans. On that this will not go on answered. And we will work around the clock to bring those. Who were engaged in this. Senseless act to justice. It's unfortunately reminds us of the relentless violence on the streets. Of New Orleans and across America. Every day we are supposed to be one nation indivisible. -- with one shared destiny but the truth of the matter is -- across America. And certainly on the streets of New Orleans there's a constant drumbeat of shootings. And death day after day after day. Every year in the United States of America 151000 American citizens. All or killed and there are countless. Other shootings. As a matter of fact every day. We lose forty American citizens that's one every 35 minutes. And the shootings in some instances almost incalculable. This is a humanitarian crisis is not. In some far away nation. But it's here in our streets it's and I neighborhoods. It's in our homes. This past weekend across our country. 36 people were shot in Chicago. 21 people was shot in New York City seven. In Los Angeles. Indeed it was -- morning Chicago one of 42 year old man whose name was Ronnie Amos was shot dead. In humble parked just steps away from his home. The same night a thousand miles away in the Bronx 29 year -- Rodney Rodney was shot and killed on Sunday in east Hollywood thirty year old. Lavelle Smith was hit after an unknown gunman opened fire in a crowded restaurant. Unfortunately he did not make it. On Burma street in New Orleans and precious lives were changed forever within minutes. Police offices and he amassed on the scene. And I would like to take a minute to personally thank the medical professionals and particularly members of the military. Who were there along with under the -- of individuals. A stepped in to aid the victims and to the citizens that assisted. Them as well. In the last 48 hours were released video evidence that depicts the incident identified two persons of interest. And walked door to door to hear from what the business owners and the folks on -- street had to say. I had a chance yesterday to visit university medical center. And to visit with and or talked to the victims and their families. And that was still in the hospital. At that time to make sure that they knew. On that the people of New Orleans was sorry for what happened to them and to offer our condolences. And assistance I was very encouraged by the faith. And the commitment of the families and the fight that they have to go through. Particularly wanna answer people of New Orleans to hold up. In their prayers. The victims who are continue to be in need of assistance. We are working every day to make. Our streets safe. To make New Orleans a safe place to live to work into play but too often. We also have innocent bystanders -- a caught in the gunfire. As well. -- in New Orleans just in the last ten days I -- Erin Jackson 52 years old. Beyond Simmons 27 years old Willie Brown 45 years old Julius on 21 years old. And of course on Friday morning on the son of -- respect -- senior clerics techno junior was taken from us in -- And the culture of this violence continues to threaten our country. I want you to consider this fact. That between 1980 and 2012626000. Americans were killed on the streets of this country. That is more American citizens that were killed in war. -- all of and all the wars in the twentieth century that would be World War I World War II Korea Vietnam Iraq and Afghanistan that is a huge. Number and that is why. Last weekend and then again today I am making a clarion call. On to every level of the government to protect our streets both federal state and local. I've sent a letter to President Obama. With a copy of a letter that I sent last year. -- requesting that the federal government. -- get back in the business of fighting crime on the streets of America has sent a copy this letter to the attorney general into the head of the FBI. To remind them. Of their obligation to help boss Stan. This national epidemic -- they asked them to make a commitment to restore the cops program that was so instrumental. In making the streets of America safe years ago. I've asked them to give us a search team. Of federal law enforcement officers from DEA FBI ATF the US marshal's office. Also written to the secretary of the department of Nigeria. Who has a police force and the job is to help protect historic and cultural sites. And the French Quarter is certainly one of those as well and I've asked them to consider proposing to congress. Amendments to allow our US attorney's. To prosecute prosecute illegal procession. Of weapons correctly and not as a derivative offense to drug offenses. Also spoken to the governor of written him a letter. Have asked him to assign 100 state police officers in New Orleans on a permanent basis. We serve as the host. To the tourism and to the sports entertainment industry we generate hundreds of millions of dollars. For the state Louisiana. On and there are huge state assets in this city and of course the French Quarter. Is part of that and I believe that the state police presence is warranted and would be a welcome addition to. I'll police department I've asked him to beef up the probation -- parole office within the department of corrections. And of course to invest. In mental health and substance abuse programs. We're also asking for additional funding for public safety through the allocation. Of a larger portion of the hotel motel -- of the city and are in a rededication of one penny. Of the hotel motel tax in the convention center to generate the resources we need to hire police officers. Today at the local level I want to thank the City Council members after the last budgeting practices they have Marty puts in in the game. And allocated enough money to -- 150 police officers. We are gonna continue to recruit and we continue to reach out to people of the city of New Orleans. Who may want to serve. I'll also sent a copy these letters to -- a United States senators and congressional delegation asking them to advocate on behalf. On the federal ask -- talk to legislate tours and sent them copies as well ask them. -- advocate and on behalf as a relates to -- they'd -- and of course a City Council is with this today. -- decades of mass murder in shootings in slow motion on the streets of America has to stop and this is not who we are. As a nation is certainly not who we are as a people in New Orleans morally economically. Spiritually and for the good of this nation's -- security I think we ought to do more. It's been happening for a long long time but it has to stop and the time is now. We could spend a lot of time talking about how we got here we may not all be at fault but as I've said many many times we all have responsibilities to act. -- as one people. We gonna continue to work around the clock to see it this investigation goes well and that we bring these individuals to justice. The only way we gonna do that -- of the people of the city annually and help us there are people out there who know. Who did this we need you come fall. We need you to help us make this city safe. It's important that we say clearly and unequivocally this is unacceptable. And it has to stop I'm gonna call on the chief now to give you an update of where we are an investigation and we'll also give you some information about. The protections that are in place that as a special please help me welcome chief surface. Thank you missed them there and to all those who with this week in the police department obviously. Send our best wishes to family members in the ten people were injured on Sunday morning and I would like to send a message to their families and all the families of wall. We have not stopped working on this case since it started we have nonstop -- detectives. I can assure you today we know whole lot more than yes there were not and that was much more. We're making headway we're getting good tips through crime stoppers and good work through detectives following -- on the and making the kinds of investigative steps that we think -- appropriate. I can tell you that the minute that we can released new video we will. But this time we will now likely have more videos today but that does not mean that we've not made great headway since yesterday on the people looking for. The most important message. Call crime stoppers. Will look at your video. We would remind people that the French Quarter with the birthplace of people's individual cameras being used to help -- solve -- Imagine how fast and -- young person Enron and remote. You may live on Decatur street you may live on rampart street but think about those pictures that you've seen in the videos that have been released. And take a look at your cameras just to double check just to make sure. As a relates to essence festival we want to make sure that the people who owns our visitors that are thriving in -- understand. We have a very robust plan package on Thursday the family day there will be a 170 offices in and around the area -- the essence festival activities occur. Around Decatur street canal street the superdome MCC. On Friday Saturday and Sunday they'll be 500 police officers from the walls police department aside for the down -- war. Assigned to the -- park area the marinade the port street part of the convention streak or. Not to include those offices that'll be working at the superdome and morial convention so. And on Monday when everybody leaves the city we bring out another package of twenty to 25 offices will make sure we can keep canal street blowing. We can do this because the mayor and the council supported the 2014 budget and we have funds available. He used to ensure that we not only have 500 officers. But we're supplementing that with 300000 dollars in overtime to ensure that there's very visible presence in and around downtown core. A spoke with colonel Edmonton yesterday and in addition to our 500 officers in downtown core. He's going to -- wanted to point five troopers to give us some assistance which we greatly appreciate. At the end of the day. We are not gonna stop until we find these people and I want to thank the public and thank you media for putting out those pictures quickly. And as soon as we get more information -- what. -- Elizabeth point yes council -- nevermind it's a very good point. The way we do these deployments. We do not take the district officers who -- normally assigned to your neighborhoods. We're using the officers and detectives that are part of the centralized detective function. We're using detectives in the district were not providing direct calls for service response. So each and every one of the eight districts maintain their standard staffing protocol and profiled on Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday. And those 500 additional offices or combination of office is coming from other parts of the department and overtime to make sure we have that footprint covered in the downtown core. Thank -- -- them and thank you -- Ladies and gentlemen I'm like gonna stand here and tell you that enough is enough. Simply because the shooting happened on Bourbon Street. The fact of the matter is that would minimize. Past events like the Mother's Day shooting. Or any other shooting that has happened on our streets. Whether it was last week last month. Or last year. Those of us who have lived. With the threat and persistent drumbeat of violence in our communities. Or -- even worse lost loved ones to violence. But those individuals. Enough. Came along time ago. The mayor is absolutely right. We need more soldiers in this battle. Just this morning. My office received approval from Washington. To hire three additional. Experienced a USA's. All of whom will be tasked with the responsibility. Of prosecuting violent crime. In our region. And it is not enough. So I will remain in the year. Or in the face of those individuals to make sure that we have the resources. Not just in my office. With the FBI the ATF the day the US marshals. To ensure that this is a battle that we can win. Let me talk briefly about the consent decree. You know I was not the US attorney. When this document was negotiated. There's a lot of good in that document but it is not perfect. There are still some problems. But I will not stand idly by and what problems. Fester. This -- the document that is supposed to work for us not against us. I don't live in Washington DC I live here in southeast Louisiana in -- warlords. And to -- to my city officials here you have my commitment that would make sure the bits of the document that works for. Us. And that includes all of our Brothers and sisters who Wear the uniform of the in -- PD as well as all the residents of this region. Would they are sworn to protect and to serve. Last but not least let me address the general public. -- previously used the term battle. Whether you recognize it or not with the -- accepted or not you or in the middle of a battle. The new battle with the city of war ones. Either you -- for. A safe and peaceful New Orleans or you're against us. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option. Each and every day we need to be engaged. In this process of trying to win this battle with the you're involved in intervention. Prevention. Or law enforcement. You can no longer stand on the sidelines. But it also means is that if you have information. You have to come forward. I understand that safety is a concern for many of our residence when it comes to providing information. Contact. In the PD contact our district attorney's office. Contact my office contact crime stoppers we have the ability we have -- know how to protect. Our witnesses. But for those of you. Who are holding on to information. Under the guise of protecting individuals. In your community who have perpetrated violence and our streets. Under the concept. Of no snitching or stop snitching let me tell you something that is the handiwork of the double. It is one of his worst lies ever perpetrated. At the federal prosecutor I have in the business of information. Let me tell you win the bright lights of -- federal process prosecution gets on to someone in their face you know what starts -- happen. They start talking all of those individuals were out there telling you don't -- and stop snitching when they're behind bars. They start talking. They start talking. I had the privilege and honor of prosecuting some of the individuals in Baltimore Maryland who were responsible for perpetrating this -- That's stop snitching video. Heroin conspiracy. You know what I call those individuals. I called him and I couldn coal operators. Because when they all got under the bright lights big -- -- Come forward. Come forward. It is no longer acceptable to stand on the sidelines. That concept is a lie and it's a farce it is an excuse. Help us win this battle for New Orleans. Thank you. -- -- Certainly -- I think in a PD in all the first responders. In the sentiment they did an incredible job -- supper certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. I thought the press are also with the individuals who were involved in this incident in particular victory in families and speaking to them. If you with a person who fired the shots. Turn yourself. The video surveillance footage that we had this incredible we're getting a lot of tips through crime stoppers beaten a lot of communication. From the public about this case. They Amish community the right thing. You're not gonna do the right thing. The crime separate has done is given everyone around you the opportunity to come through -- anonymously which means they'll never be identified they don't have to have this fear. And to give us information we need to make a quick arrest. No crime service did two things but the reward money in this case first off if you can just give us the weapons they've gone. Give this the guy that can be linked to this crime we get thank god you get a thousand dollars. For each gone. If you didn't give us information on one of the shooters. It's 2500 dollars it's going to be on the arrest that shooter we typically pay arrest and indictment it's going to be on the arrest. So that -- 5000 dollar reward at this point. There is a thousand dollar just gun reward. But more importantly do the right -- give us a call thank. All right questions. -- -- -- -- -- -- There. No we believe it's likely that there was two people shooting with two different types of weapons and we recovered some of that evidence about as far as we can go into. -- But to ship out. Water. On flight over street now we'll. And. So the event on this terrible shooting occurred on Sunday night as a -- weekend we just had a regular Saturday or Sunday and Sunday morning. That was a total 27 about 27 officers working in the eighth district nine of them were assigned to specific. Urban street duties the sixteen others but -- seventeen others. Were assigned to answering calls service throughout the district doing investigations in the evening on criminal investigations. Narcotics investigations in task force kind of work 27 people all work insanity into Sunday is what was out there. Of course we all like more mean that's not the issue the issue is that a lot of people given the way we're able to point today. Essence we naturally on both for since the same plan and it's important you know that's the essence plan was issue before this event happened so we're constantly planning. Looking at last year's events over 500 offices in the downtown area for essence is a robust package because we have a lot of wonderful source so. Those two things operate kind of opposite kind of independent one. You're looking. -- we're doing every week because this is important about life over but he here's. The way we're budgeting it started in 2012. With the council's support. We're using -- they can salary dollars to Hughes over we're putting anywhere from eighteen when he extra ships. Per day on the streets of the eighth district that is exactly. The eighth district has just about a hundred police officers normally assigned today. In the eighth district -- 10000 and when he was over time. Every week to have extra officers and radio and offices doing proactively or political work. I think that the combination of those two with it and that's -- You never wanna you know wanna forget that the ultimate solution is the higher. And that's what we're going now for example as you all know. But right now we have six former employees who we've agreed to take back so we're start to see a turn people who -- wanna come back we want him back. We have over eighty people who -- in background investigation today. There the rate of which people successfully getting through background is going up slightly talked about this with the council today. So we're seeing that momentum and as we move through 14151617. Which is gonna keep -- like the -- that we're gonna hire every day. Until we get wannabe. Two ways to answer. One I will and I know the government. It's a -- the truth of how young men make choices there was a there was a very good piece written and published in morning elves journals today. And it talks to David Kennedy talked of a psychologist and talked of the sociologists and that sometimes -- young man. Are committing these brazen acts and they're not paying attention to what's around them or why. Or anything that they do could make a difference. The Boston bombing you know that there was police all over the place when that happened in these two men decided to do what they do it. We had in the very first months of our administration a shooting in the 100 block suburban -- police officers almost got Powell -- When somebody decides to kill somebody's that often don't care what's all around the goal for life piece is the other piece of. Thank you don't want a do you wanna talk about that. That to keep the facts straight there with three officers. Less than a block away. From this particular instances that she's said he gave you an example now on the wanted to block suburban at least I mean on canal street -- police officers actually standing I think 25 feet away. From where the shooting occurred there have been myriad of examples of people make it very very bad choices when there was a very strong law enforcement presence there and so. As council member gray and I have. The spoken about council member Ramsey and other people. You cannot just believe -- -- in incarcerate your way out of this complete and total problem we've got to find a way. To get on the front side. All of this issue and to get very early and to change what I have termed the culture of violence. What that means is behavioral patterns that have formed over time. That cement themselves in place where young people or resolving their differences through a gun. And through murder and obviously complete and total disregard. For innocent systems citizens. Of course the Mother's -- shooting last year is about as brazen if not more so than this when. Complete and total disregard for the life and safety of other individuals irrespective of where they come from what they're doing and what they happen to be that culture has got to change. All the police officers in the world I'm not gonna change that particular problem haven't said that. I think all of us have now talked about publicly they need. To have 16100 police officers because we think that's the right number two not only secure the city but to make people feel safe as well. That is why you have me reaching out so aggressively to the federal government to the state government because in the last ten years they have been for the most part absent. In terms of their responsibility of taking care of public safety on the streets of America it is in fact a national priority. And it is a federal responsibility. To help us police the streets of America this changed after September 11 the FBI turned its attention. To terrorism and they turned away from street crime as a priority. We're asking the FBI to think about that as well we can do both and it doesn't have to be idle or. The United States of America has spent a huge amount of money standing up police departments in other countries in Iraq Afghanistan. Particularly Medellin Colombia where we have spent. Federal dollars hiring police officers for cities that it not even in the United States of America while simultaneously. Telling me -- across America you on your own I believe that is wrong. And that is why I'm asking the president. To think about we're prioritizing that I'm also asking. The president and congress to think about the cops program it was one of the most successful programs. In the history of the united states -- the start of our President Clinton it was initiated by Senator Biden. It used to be funded at four billion dollars it is now 88% less than that. Since 1996. It was one of the tools that created a wonderful partnership that helped and so if you have more money for us -- high -- Through the cops program and you have a robust presence. Especially with the violence from the DEA ATF that you can supplement. What we're doing on the local level the same thing is true about the state of Louisiana. US city is the host to major sports entertainment and cultural events nine million visitors come in. To this city every year they pay taxes most of that tax goes to the state. And what we need is for the state Louisiana to take responsibility. For that which is there's. And that means that we need state troopers down here Manning the highway. And that you noticed that they do it between the bridge in the seventeenth street canal but they stop that's their responsibility we need them to man. The Crescent City connection and we need them. To have a robust compliment of state. Troopers on the ground. Protecting state assets like the superdome the arena -- convention center and of course the French Quarter which is an international destination I am very thankful. To colonel Mike -- every town that we called and asked him he has been there. The state troopers have been great partners number this is outside of their control. They can only respond to the assets they had Nelson now calling for the governor I'm talking to the legislature passed a legislative delegation to help lead this effort. And they agreed to do so to rejoin. This discussion. About making sure that everyone shows up and of course we are doing our part. And that we are beginning to -- 150 new police officers who marched towards a 16100 number and we will get there but at the end of the day. At the end of the day even when we have the force of -- that this is not gonna get done unless the people of New Orleans aside and demand that they have a safe city. And as I US attorney said there is no place to run there's no place to hide you have got to pick sides. We know that there are people out there who know who did this you should turn them in. You should make sure that you make the commitment to turn this city around and by the way. Families parents pastors. Everybody has got to be involved in transforming the culture of death. And violence on the streets of New Orleans into culture of peace so that we can all live here together because no matter who sit in this chair around sitting right now. Oh with a police should visit the US attorney all etc. etc. if we don't change that we will continue to be how we have been. In this city for as many years as we possibly can count this has been gone for a long time and unless we do something different. It will not change. Enough is enough and as a US attorney said that happened a long time ago for a lot of people. Thank you for the question it -- it's a good question. I have spoken to. All of the executives at essence festival. And they fully confident. That this is not just in New Orleans problem that happens all over America. In as a consequence of fully confident that. Their guests will be protected as a lot. They also note that this very little that you can do to protect such. That people from such senseless and shameless acts. I am concerned. When anybody gets hurt in the city of New Orleans and where ever they get hurt. Of course bad stories in about New Orleans that every one of the individual that you talked Jews. -- has basically said no it's not. US 80% this is a problem that persist across America and quite frankly. I'm just as concerned about the person who get shot in the Lower Ninth Ward. And in the east and -- town and in Pakistan and in the West Bank as I am with a citizen. Or a visited it shot on Bourbon Street quite frankly when you look at the nature of this crime this is not a Bourbon Street it's specific crime this could happen. A block away or it could happen intention down or it could happen in broad one because it happens all the time. And we know that. Everybody whether there visit our citizen. Has got to be protected in this city where ever they are. And of course as I said it is part law enforcement but there's a lot more to it than that. And that is -- -- -- life for you know works really hard to be that robots that the and that -- but as I said many many times. And I made this clarion call we cannot do it last cells. We have to have help and assistance and essentially if we get that. And the people decide that the -- it tolerated anymore that will be the day when we began to come to the end of this very difficult period of time. -- -- I've been this and it's not the first time. I have I have been talking about this since my inaugural speech in my first -- I've been talking about it. For years and so it is it is a continual requests. That is come over time and quite frankly we're not asking them for more we just asking them to do with -- supposed to be doing. Not over and above what it was supposed to do with the federal government for the most part has been absent. From the fight on violent crime in the city. Laughs what they've given to the US attorneys over very very difficult time and the US it is not that the US attorney can't do much about it except to say to. You know that the -- the the attorney general this is absolutely right what we're seeing on the ground here is absolutely real I am shocked. By the lack of general knowledge. That leaders in this nation have about the volume of shootings and murders on the street. On the United States of America. We can't do anything to compare it to the number of shootings in -- that take place overseas and when those comparisons are made. Folks get into an either or situation it is possible for the people and for the United States of America to be strong abroad. And to be strong at home as a matter of fact you can't be strong abroad. If you're -- at home and the United States has to get they had focused on the fact that we have a problem through out the United States of America we certainly haven't in New Orleans. We as I've said this nation's laboratory for innovation and change and were also the canary in the coal mine. And the things that happening here happening all over the country and then if you just think about. A look at the dailies in Philadelphia eagle academy in Baltimore go look at Los Angeles the look in Chicago and everywhere in between mayors across America struggling with this problem. And need assistance and help from our partners the United States of America would never sent. Never. Send a general. All our soldiers into war. Without the resources that they need to get the job done and they would never leave anybody behind that is exactly what's happening. On domestic soil and I think the mayors of America or sending out this clarion call unfortunately. It takes you vets like yes to wake us up to forces to stop this forces to law. And we think it's an exception to the rule is not and it has got to change. I'm not certain when officers working in the district. Are I would actually that we -- three. Saturday night in morning around. We've always had the same thing mean is 27 total officers work and there were nine who were assigned to her history. Four officers on foot speed and -- on mounted the other offices weren't cars working throughout the eighth district and total. The other thing that's really important is that when an event like this happens. What we expect the police officers. Is exactly what they did they rushed to the scene while people -- runaway. They began to provide medical care which is the first priority which also includes communicating we and that's given an entry routes clearing up entry routes. We also expect them this protects seen evidence at the same time this chaotic moments going on like Mother's Day. Yeah police officers were making sure people aren't stepping on casings that were identifying where all that information is the next thing these offices are doing is finding witnesses. All of this is happening within a blink of an on all of this is app and. Before the first. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And then one of our officers saw some people run that you can cause for concern and he was chasing him now. At the exact same incident the first offices were making it to the scene. So it's kind of back to the question that was raised. When things do happen what do we want the officers to do and from that perspective I've not seen anything that would give me anything but great pride. In their ability to handle a very confusing situation. Incredibly quickly. Gathering very important physical evidence that we have in our possession. Getting -- getting aid to the people who needed the days. So that's kind of what we do after but there were 27 total people -- the eighth district that night non we're specifically assigned for -- walk in the coverage. The other eighteen I should say we're in different functions of Internet radio calls working undetected cases in the -- and consequence. Yes. Very shifts throughout the night there in record time. -- The -- that I saw was actually talking on his radio the whole time. And while he's talking on that radio he's doing them a few things he's felony and that's where he is he's given an assessment of what it looks like right these are hypothetical would you be doing. I saw -- talking on his radio. But what's not clear is that there's other video cameras and you see other things that the cops are doing going long with so in this particular case. Officers got there. Started rendering aid which also includes giving directions to EMS -- and -- what streets to use will make sure we open up the street things have gone on the child don't know about. There's other offices blocks away making sure the streets are open to get -- -- -- like Mother's Day same kind of thing. So no at this point I think is way too early to determine what he may or may not have been doing on. What we are thinking was do. We've seen the videos not all the videos alike cannot like yourself. It felt so mean sometimes. You don't get the right video angle that you need. Which you know what our job we have to bring cases that are successful prosecution. And the most important thing to do is not to -- to a bad judgment so we're developing information that good flow. The most important thing that is this information has stopped. -- formation keeps coming in you know we're like good journal right I'm sure he'll research everything you say before you said. We've got to do the same thing we have the research everything we're gonna do before we make in grass before we make the description before release the name. And then -- -- mr. --