WWL>Topics>>9-3-14 3:10pm Angela: on NOLA crime

9-3-14 3:10pm Angela: on NOLA crime

Sep 3, 2014|

Angela talks with FBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Anderson, Michael Cowan of the Crime Coalition, and Tania Tetlow of Tulane Law School about why murder is down in the city but nearly every other serious crime is way up.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well the good news last week that the number of murders in New Orleans was trending down was short lived. The weekend's five murders. This year's numbers passed last year's. Equally disturbing is the number of the double digit increases in armed robbery up 36%. Simple robbery of 35%. Rate up 25%. Although stepped up 21 in general that 15%. What do these numbers mean other than to many people are dying. And too many bad guys are on the streets. Does this increase simply prove that our lack of boots on the ground has caught up with this. Did the bad guys know we are more vulnerable. Does this upward trend foretell what we face next year and perhaps the next. What is it about New Orleans that no matter how hard we fight we still end up with unconscionable. Crime statistics. We are not the only poor city in America. And we aren't the only community that has such struggles with education. What is it and what is that we need to do to change it. We're going to spend the next hour with experts and I hope you'll be part of this conversation. Just call 260187. Joining us is Michael Anderson special agent in charge of the FBI. Michael Collins chairman of the crime coalition. And Tonya terror -- Tulane law professor and director of the domestic violence clinic there I cannot thank you long enough for being here. You're like regulars -- in -- sort of way. But it's important. It's truly important I think to this conversation just does not stop that we we continued to attack it and look at the reasons and sort of try to figure out what can be done. I would like -- know from each review. What what do you think about these numbers when you hear what does what does it say to you. Like the start with whenever I look at the murder rate I think that's very useful fur. The FBI's analysis on attacking the crime problem but I'm always more interest -- frankly in the number of shootings. Because in fact I read a piece in the the times Picayune recently somebody from an emergency room. Had said just as many bodies are coming in and people are coming in from gunshot wounds. But they're doing a better job of of saving lives and so I think that could be misleading that not as many people are dying but you have to look at the number of shootings. Because that is still. That the best indicator of violence you're gonna look at gun possession then shootings and the murders and so. I think that would be the one thing that take away that that we always have a the FBI at least when we look at the murder rate. -- -- Well. You know I would say that the the fact that murder has been trending in a better direction over multiple years. Is a good thing. Doesn't offset the concern about these other statistics that you were mentioning. More of the comment that I would make is that. When people look at numbers like this the first -- wanna do is get after the police chief and the police department but in fact there's a limit to what the police can do. To drop these numbers they can the can do it by themselves and there are a lot of factors have played here. Best -- to continued to to be addressed. -- For me there. Fact that the -- numbers are going -- is in a weird way good news because we had historically a problem of non enforcement of rape laws in this community of NO PD. Not investigating -- properly. Until this administration and so what we're gonna see for awhile is those numbers trending up without necessarily representing an increase in the rape rape we don't really know. But what it does represent certainly is a sex crimes unit that is better train that is. Being told and instructed to take these crimes very seriously into investigate them -- so that actually is a good sign in those numbers. Are both gonna go up because they're more investigations pending but also. Once. Rape victims in this community feel comfortable that reporting actually we'll do some good and that they will be taken seriously and treated respectfully then you're gonna have more reporting of what is. Historically very under reported crime. No that's -- interest in him and I have complete respect for your perspective on the net. That something bad is really in a way could it mean that we may be turned the corner right on that. Let's talk about and I could agree with you more of Michael -- No police force and any number is going to save us. Percent realistically though we are. Down a lot 500. And I just wonder. Isn't -- these numbers perhaps reflective of that. Then it finally. Caught up with this. Well I think I think they might well be in and just for perspective I think Brett a 35 year low. And in the size of our force so -- to say that the police can't stop violent crime -- had to say about the number of police we have. Doesn't matter because because it does matter and a lot of people and organizations especially the police and justice foundation have been focused very hard on this recruitment issue. And I think there I think there's good news coming but. It's gonna take awhile to beef up that department cause a lot of people are leaving even as we have these new people coming and. It for 500 people short actually today I I believe I heard that. For whatever reason Miami is losing a lot of police officers from him to let go over a thousand. And that the new interim chief is looking to go there to see if any would be interested in that seems to be. As we've done many programs on the shortage in the growing shortage -- exactly what -- sang. They're leaving while we're talking about it. How can we get people with. Experience. Who would want either wanna come back or from other communities. That we don't have just. And as long training. A lot of that is money too because our salaries are no longer be competitive just with the suburbs and so. We're up against a budgetary wall and I think the taxpayers of the city are gonna have to make some hard decisions soon about whether. To allow the city to raise more money is so that we can pay police batter Rios who salaries tend to plot line and the department it's very hard to get a raise so -- you become supervisor. All of that makes it very tough to recruit no matter how hard you try. You know statistics are important but. Then on everything and I think it up so much of it is perception. And I think that. There is a perception that crimes are really becoming more brazen and not just -- that the ones that we know about the make the news. For the weekend of nine people shot suburban street. But more than. Just two people sitting on their front porch enjoying a night and you know children hurt. Yes I can speak to that is as far as a challenge that we have with neighbor based games now that these shootings over the Labor Day weekend. Probably we have a nexus to any. And here is -- based -- at this point but I think it it's think it's an indicator of kind of an impulsive -- That that we see in those groups and then even those individuals who aren't even affiliated with gains but maybe criminal conspiracies maybe to -- A group of guys getting together and and dealing low level drugs. That level of and wholesomeness and with out any regard for. Their surroundings and innocent bystanders and children. I think that is what's very challenging in fact I've I've talked. On a number of occasion occasions and how difficult that is even approach neighborhood based gains vs national gains because national -- -- have more. This internal discipline have more leadership. Have more structure and it's bad for business to just two random killings. But if you if you're dealing with a group of folks that don't have that kind of internal structure even if even -- it's a criminal organization. You're gonna see more of these types of of shootings and killings. That just is completely senseless. We have disorganized crime and -- You know I'm listening to him and I'm thinking the same thing. Even our crime are armed gangs aren't great. I mean where their values an awful to say something like that I'm looking at Michael Kellen at this eyes are saying a lot. Well I'm just too. Partly second work on what what Michael has said I'm. Bears there's a sort of quality of both. Randomness and also. You know senseless violence and brutality to some of the things we're seeing like. You described you know drive by were two children. And a shot and pat pat -- I think that's I think that speaks to something from. Economic and something cultural. You know we've got my appreciation news that we've got a lot of young African American men walking the streets of the city. Who see nothing like a desirable future on illegal path they just don't see your way to that from where they are. You know that the kind of summit that they see as soon as McDonald's. And you know if you dislike about people us rational actors -- again economic sense if you can make a lot more money doing something illegal then youth you can never mentioned doing legally that's going to be that's going to be a pressure on you. And you know the other thing I guess is just what -- what from what I meant by cultural is that there seems to be kind of a tradition here. Of settling thanks violently. And I don't you know ascent as an outsider not quite comprehend it but it but I feel its presence. We're gonna take a bullet please stay with this and I appreciate the -- we will definitely get to you over gonna pick it up right there because I think that's important we're gonna talk about. Why so many people are not working why so many. People have no ambition to do it right. Right after this. We are talking about crime and we're talking on. About what we can do about it with with three incredible people I'm I'm so pleased that Michael Anderson Anderson special agent in charge of the FBI. Michael Collins with a crime commission. And Tonya tableau -- -- -- professor -- very well known for her work is the director of the domestic. Domestic violence clinic sees me. As sweet as we look at these new numbers -- double digit we look at the complexity of what's going on in our police department are losing people are efforts to. Gain more people. And the general frustration by the public. But I think that Michael -- -- -- it. Best we we do have a culture issue here. We do have talked about numbers whether it's 41 or or. 49 or 51%. Of African American males are not working in this community. Is the invitation for a wrong. And yet I bring this up because how many programs we have done with the business community that is crying out. For. Workers. And then the educational systems now in place. That are going to train these people how do we connect all of those dots to say there is a better life. That is realistic and not just. You don't have to so you can live an honest life and make a living. Hopefully something that you would enjoy. -- limit -- -- Angela let me give one example. We -- about 300. People who are released from state incarceration. Into Jefferson or an early inspiration every month. We know that about its half of them are going to be back in state incarceration within. Five years. And we think that one of the reasons that that that's that that's the case is that we haven't done anything really serious so far about re entry about about helping someone bridge back. From the culture of incarceration back into the city. But most of the folks -- were in that category. Have multiple dimensions of challenge they've got drug issues they cut health issues they've got literacy issues they've got attachment to the workforce issues. And and you can't let anyone of those go to cancer well it's too hard we can only do two because those other things become cracks that people thought gaps -- that people follow through. So. The city has put together. The first. Comprehensive. And systematic. Reentry effort that I'm aware of here. It's it's still beginning but one thing that I know is that they've got a very serious -- dialogue going on with the with -- civic and other leaders of the of the of the business community. And they're trying to find a way to say. If you social service providers and educators. Can get me potential workers will give them a chance despite the criminal. Background that they -- -- certain crimes maybe not but certain crimes that would and so that's right kind of thing that's what has worked in other places and I think the city. And the business council are showing. Tremendous leadership and. And I could agree with you more and that is a very good news is a long term but a great beginning to end it the re everything has to be addressed it. It's got to an even mobile -- of the sites I want to get to some of our callers on. Stephen -- for him. Hello Steve. Group. You could comment or question. Well I. Which it split right tightly as if you know you. I thought there in the early. -- -- Through the couple -- than homicide the year. I want to change and a couple of things. I think that would make -- big -- -- that year. It will pro active approach. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And they -- but that the broken window theory that we. Believe. I as a the out there right now and hopefully. -- actually lower -- that city to the expect that we. So I -- That was one and audited and I don't know though. You know -- straight to our the situation though but. Built for. Metro. This week for me mr. -- What they see that the beer. And it's called -- -- And basically and I still accountable. It has everything -- trying to do that but. -- at their jobs. Or. At least they were all of the three years anyway now that work. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- If you ought to go to the job. There. -- Of course. We make more I watched real the eagle or. Or. Caught out -- bet they have a replay may not typically. So -- Army and police -- it. Especially the awards -- the vote. And really no it's true that. People any and every. When I had -- used to be retired which you would -- join our forces. -- areas of the. -- I'm a little -- -- -- but it's been about a year. Oh on them but. It's you know what you actually without. But you know been brought back I know it is what he put it. In New York open -- -- the commissioner. -- that you can control. You know it's that the real emotion and you later speech at. The accountability. And sure enough. It worked. -- every I can't thank you enough for calling I really mean that thank you call thank you for moving -- area and we. And thank you for calling I appreciate. It we're gonna have to run into our newsroom -- the -- and it means that stay with this we're gonna continue to talk about. What we can do run after it. Well once again we are talking about what started out as looking at our crime statistics and how discouraging it can be. With Michael Collins with a crime commission Michael Anderson. Special agent in charge idea behind. Tonya chaplain who was just -- renowned in her work with domestic violence -- -- at Tulane law professor let me get to our our caller David thank you for holding. Today and like -- -- I call well men -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our reentry -- -- you want -- leave him out there and that great cop out but not a country. Howard -- who went all out there. And do our duty and guns and -- people who on on and the children. -- -- or a jury. -- -- And picked up there that we shall we deserve. You take dogs and you. -- -- all of them are going to want to correct you on. -- people on board should people. Should all people you. Well you're content do. People. To get it right you don't have an opinion on Iraq. It'll stay right there won't want. David I wish that were the case I truly -- -- so -- you would it ought to you know which would be. Well I think there are there other Angel into a little old but all of you what did you know. An important to the issue is an industry. Well what we're talking about we're on the same page of what's happening is wrong. We're looking at realistic solutions now -- on a very complex issue that has many tentacles of how do we approach it. You can't just abandon the idea of reentry people are coming out of prison. What do we do with -- -- but it. Think back. And that's why we need the reentry programs because reentry programs. Can help educate and currently lives around. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You know they are. Illegal and not the age and not. But did PP GA BC EO. -- All about it all the upgrade. We work. Well and did not get the great. About it being created. You know so you are bringing up the very good point and I'm gonna -- again thank you for calling we're gonna move on. But we are talking about how do we take young people and Franklin instilled the values that you do want to work for a -- that you can participate in society and be productive how do we do. He did that through a good education system. As best you can but ultimately the kinds of problems as Michael count was saying are so interlocking. And so incredibly intractable and difficult that any of us if we were born in these kids choose but really struggled this is an irrational behavior on their part. And one part of this that we don't spend enough time thinking about is the exposure to violence of kids and their young. We think about that only look at the bodies on street corners but there's far more violence going on households that child abuse. And of witnessing domestic violence. And that literally is improving to change the brain wiring your children exposed to that kind of violence makes it much more likely not certain at all. But much more likely that they themselves -- be violent. And one of the few things -- the criminal justice system could do to be proactive in trying to prevent crimes 'cause most of this is about economic opportunity and about education. But one of the things that could do would be to focus on family violence as a priority. And not stated these kids well we've let UBB not believe like your mama be beaten up with impunity in your house we never cared about it but the minute you walk out of that house at sixteen we have -- no tolerance policy for violence. And that's and -- entirely hypocritical so we would be doing much more. Proactively if we really cared about that as the single priority instead of the last thing on the list which tends to be. I think a a point that. That needs to be made here. Is that. Fourteen and fifteen and sixteen year old soon to tell each other. Have a profound character problem and character is formed in family. It's formed in neighborhood it's formed in church. And all those institutions. Together are failing and they're producing. The murdering and the murdered and the murderers that we have on our street right now and you know it's a very tough thing to two in erupt intergenerational poverty I don't service to blame people I'm just trying to to talk about a social fact here. Which is multiple generations of people with no strong attachment Tokyo workforce. With very poor educational background as best Tonya was saying. And with really not very much in the way five economic prospects how do those people raise children with the work ethic. People who do have now some -- -- struggle and many don't and such as part of the truth of our situation. We'll take another break we'll be right back. Well as we started. This is a conversation we will continue to have forever. And but it's important it's important to listen to people who were in the trenches like Tonya the -- -- Michael calendar Michael Anderson the FBI. The day in day out people who see our crime statistics that the human lives issue of course is how to we resolved it. In a perfect world maybe in many ways we have an imperfect for. So chipping away as Michael counts and we've got to address those coming out of prison or it is definitely the returning -- It's finding young people and granting them to that believe in themselves. And that they want to do something with their lines. Not always easy in the complex world. I just wants more of your thoughts on what we can do. Well incarceration to limited solution we in Louisiana incarcerate a greater percentage of our population then really anywhere in the world we are off the charts with that and we're spending an amazing amount of money on that instead of spending it on. Social services Foster care systems all the kinds of things that help keep kids out of trouble and prevent the crime in the first place. And as a result we're really suffering it has not lowered our crime rate -- crime rates are are pretty high compared to the rest of the country that doesn't do this so that's not the answer. I think. Reinvesting in the social service nets in our education system -- were doing. And in family violence as a priority. Michael Anderson yet and actually we are talking at the break you know from a law enforcement perspective. It is it is relatively. Much more straightforward to identify individuals breaking federal laws. In gathering the evidence and putting them in jail but that seeing on the the outside the that on the other end of the equation the reentry process and all follow. It is a staggering. And and overwhelming. Four -- even look at it because I look at. And I speak on behalf of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies the amount of victim witness specialist that we have -- and other support mechanisms. He is is. Is just pittance compared to what is really needed and so it is frustrating for us. To work these cases identify these individuals and they go to jail and in my concern is that they're just. They're just holding their their trade craft in jail they'll be back out. And and then we kind of we do -- those -- cycle over again and so it it can get to can get a little frustrating times for us. Michael Cowan -- sort of hit the the heart of the matter literally. Conscience I could just. Reinforce something that that Tonya just referred to. And I think it really is emblematic of of our situation in New Orleans because New Orleans is part of Louisiana. The highest incarceration rate. In the nation. Half of the people who are serving time for state crimes are in state institutions and the other have far and mostly rural. Perish jails Martha by ten. Where -- they're doing five years seven years eight years with -- 00 rehabilitation zero education. It's the perfect opportunity for them to do what Michael just said sit around and become better. Better criminals and then these are the folks who are coming back with no. -- with no re entry bridge so. Our our cursor ration policy it's wasting millions of dollars in a state. That's facing an enormous budget crisis it's wrecking people's lives. It's destroying the workforce if it's wrong from every point of view you'd you would wanna take. We're gonna take another break but again I'm so appreciative of people who have called on -- that we weren't able to get to all of you. We are not gonna stop this conversation and we'll just chip away chip away chip way because you know what we're Smart creative people. And we can and we can make changes. Stay with -- everyone we'll be right back. Thank you Michael Anderson thank you Michael Colin thank you -- detect low. Will continue to talk.