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Miesian Corners

Murder and Crime

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Just got back from visiting friends in New Orleans for the weekend. I was so glad to see that so much of the city is back in business. And my roast beef po-boy (with debris) at the Parkway was ef-in incredible!

Still, my long weekend in the Crescent City didn't go without concern. While I never felt scared or threatend, I was unnerved by the killing spree going on in the city. I woke up to Friday's Times Picayune with a headline reading something like "Murders bring City to it's Bloodied Knees". Whoa! What is exactly going on?

Trust me, I'm not picking on y'all, but I can only imagine what such headlines can do to a city still trying to bring the tourist trade back to pre-Katrina levels. Can the city really afford any more negative press?

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New Orleans has long struggled with violent crime. It's a generational curse that has yet to be broken. Living in N.O. you pretty much live with the fact that you will read about someone getting their brains blown out or a crime that just happened. For every negative press we get, 5 other positive stories we read about so it all evens out :thumbsup: As long as you aren't involved in the drug trade/street life then you should be straight. Most murder suspects are killed within 3 months of their last arrest. In spite of the thuggery & criminality, there is intelligent life down here.

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Drugs, that's what it all is about, and it's been that way for many, many years, unfortunately. Drug trade is huge in New Orleans, and right now turf wars are going on in many of the city's notoriously dangerous neighborhoods. Many of the criminals and drug dealers who left the city are coming back to find that their old turf is either unoccupied, scarcely populated, or just not suitable for sales anymore, for whatever other reason there may be. So, they decided to expand and move into new areas of the city, and that is not going to happen without a major fight from the individuals or gangs who are already controlling the area. 95% of the people who have been murdered in New Orleans recently were criminals or murderers themselves, and it has been this way for as long as I can remember.

The national media really isn't helping; they never mention that all of these murders are occuring in areas of the city where tourists never go. Drug trade is a major problem in places like the 9th Ward, 7th Ward, and throughout other parts of the more "shady" part of Uptown. This stuff isn't happening on Bourbon Street in the middle of the day. It's not even occuring during the day in the places I listed above. If the national media really wants to help New Orleans, they need to make sure to mention that if you're not hanging out in the middle of the ghetto, selling drugs at 2:00 in the morning, you'll be fine; and that's the way it's always been.

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Drugs, that's what it all is about, and it's been that way for many, many years, unfortunately. Drug trade is huge in New Orleans, and right now turf wars are going on in many of the city's notoriously dangerous neighborhoods. Many of the criminals and drug dealers who left the city are coming back to find that their old turf is either unoccupied, scarcely populated, or just not suitable for sales anymore, for whatever other reason there may be. So, they decided to expand and move into new areas of the city, and that is not going to happen without a major fight from the individuals or gangs who are already controlling the area. 95% of the people who have been murdered in New Orleans recently were criminals or murderers themselves, and it has been this way for as long as I can remember.

The national media really isn't helping; they never mention that all of these murders are occuring in areas of the city where tourists never go. Drug trade is a major problem in places like the 9th Ward, 7th Ward, and throughout other parts of the more "shady" part of Uptown. This stuff isn't happening on Bourbon Street in the middle of the day. It's not even occuring during the day in the places I listed above. If the national media really wants to help New Orleans, they need to make sure to mention that if you're not hanging out in the middle of the ghetto, selling drugs at 2:00 in the morning, you'll be fine; and that's the way it's always been.

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Checkpoints?

I just ran across this article about checkpoints in New Orleans. While possibly necessary, it's not a great way to encourage confidence. I also saw CNN's piece on the rally a couple of days ago. It does seem sensationalist in many ways, but what are the elements of truth to all of this? There must be some truth to it, or is it all hype?

The Clarion Ledger

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Checkpoints?

I just ran across this article about checkpoints in New Orleans. While possibly necessary, it's not a great way to encourage confidence. I also saw CNN's piece on the rally a couple of days ago. It does seem sensationalist in many ways, but what are the elements of truth to all of this? There must be some truth to it, or is it all hype?

The Clarion Ledger

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I don't know about hype. I do know the city will do whatever it takes to discourage fearful potential tourists from bypassing NO because of the crime, especially with Mardi Gras just around the corner.

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New Orleans is certainly moving forward to prevent bad publicity from hurting its all-important tourism revenues....At least the city is being pro-active on this matter.

The Sun Herald

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"New Orleans, where you better not act up because we strapped up"

:lol:

That may be a little out of line.

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Reviving a very old thread...but after some number crunching was able to compare cities of around 300,000 people across the country to New Orleans...to see where we really stand when it comes to overall crime. In fact, I took only cities with +/-15,000 of the USPS numbers. The data from the other cities is for last year...but overall figures did not change much for any of the other cities from 2005 to 2006...and one can assume will be very similar for 2007. For New Orleans...I took the latest first half of the year stats and extrapolated out to the end of the year by simply doubling the numbers. It's a very crude estimate...but probably won't be far off from the final tally.

Here is what I found and here is where we stand with "peer" cities. Overall...New Orleans runs in the middle of the pack in all categories.

Violent Crime Category (includes...murder, rape, robbery, and assaults)

  1. City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

  2. Stockton, CA 298,198 4,288 1,478

  3. Buffalo, NY 280,494 3,957 1,413.2

  4. Cincinnati, OH 309,104 3,766 1,218.8

  5. New Orleans, LA 293,911 3,268 1,111.6

  6. Newark, NJ 280,877 2,839 1,010.3

  7. Corpus Christi, TX 291,507 2,070 708.9

  8. Riverside, CA 292,698 2,014 687.3

  9. Aurora, CO 302,855 1,857 612.9

  10. Bakersfield, CA 298,198 1,575 528.5

Property Crime Category (includes...burglary...theft...and auto theft)

  1. City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

  2. Cincinnati, OH 309,104 22,107 7,154.4

  3. Stockton, CA 289,510 19,719 6,799.7

  4. Corpus Christi, TX 291,507 19,138 6,554.1

  5. Buffalo, NY 280,494 15,436 5,512.9

  6. Bakersfield, CA 298,198 15,915 5,340.6

  7. New Orleans, LA 293,911 15,332 5,215.0

  8. Aurora, CO 302,855 12,804 4,225.7

  9. Riverside, CA 292,698 12,267 4,186.7

  10. Newark, NJ 280,877 11,456 4,076.9

Total Crime

  1. City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

  2. Cincinnati, OH 309,104 25,873 8,373.1

  3. Stockton, CA 289,510 24,007 8,278.3

  4. Corpus Christi, TX 291,507 21,208 7,263.0

  5. Buffalo, NY 280,494 19,393 6,926.1

  6. New Orleans, LA 293,911 18,600 6,326.5

  7. Bakersfield, CA 298,198 17,490 5,869.1

  8. Newark, NJ 280,877 14,295 5,087.2

  9. Riverside, CA 292,698 14,281 4,874.1

  10. Aurora, CO 302,855 14,661 4,838.6

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Crime indexes are usually a good indicator of a city's criminality level. When you really look at it, our crime index and rate are quite low.

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I was actually surprised to see that we are lower than Cincinnati and Buffalo. You never hear about those cities on the national news. We do quite well compared to those cities when it comes to rape, robberies, burglaries, and thefts. However...we have much higher assault and murder numbers when you look at the data. Hopefully, things will change over time, and those numbers will go down for the city. If the schools really do get turned around like we hope, there may just be a chance for the next generation. BTW, it is the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics data I'm getting this from.

Stockton is just plain scary. They have high numbers in every category.

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But Newark having a lower crime rate and index than N.O. is definitely surprising, I honestly can't believe it. Newark has been one of the country's crime-infested cities for decades.

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Yeah...Newark has had high crime rates for quite a long time, but I remember reading in the last couple of years how the rates have declined dramatically. In fact, after that horrible quadruple shooting and triple murder of those 3 college students earlier this month, I remember one of the news reports stating how Cory Booker was being lauded for reducing crime in the city and that this latest incident may tarnish that image. The turnaround has started for them, and I'm hoping it is starting for this city right now. I still get a sense that the schools will be better in the long term, and that there is more anger in the populace when a violent crime happens than before the storm...at least among my friends in the city. We shall see how it all plays out the next few years.

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I looked up the Newark numbers to see if the crime rate was declining...and it was. Crime decreased from 2005 to 2006 by around 1500 incidents. That's a significant drop compared to all of the other cities I looked at. It was about a 10 percent drop overall.

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Crack cocaine..that's what's going on....If you don't engage in crack cocaine, your out of the realm of 96% of the murders that occur in New Orleans...

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^Along with heroin. As I've always heard, "Heroin is to New Orleans as Cocaine is to Miami."

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Even if you aren't involved in the drug business, you can still get knocked off down here. If someone is pissed off for one reason or another, it only takes one wrong look to get your head blown off.

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The FBI released new UCR crime stats last month for the year 2006. Since overall crime trends don't change much from year to year for most locations...have decided to use last year's figures for this year. I have also extrapolated out to the end of the year for New Orlean's crime stats using data from the first 9 months. These numbers should come fairly close to what will actually happen. This is an update from the previous similar post. The city has grown as well...up to 312,000 for this post...so peer cities have changed. Am also using the latest census numbers for these cities. Used the 2005 numbers for the previous post. I also extended out to +20,000 to get a better sampling of cities.

Violent Crime Category (includes...murder, rape, robbery, and assaults)

City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

1. Toledo, OH 298,446 3,461 1,159.7

2. Tampa, FL 332,888 3,839 1,153.2

3. Cincinnati, OH 332,252 3,766 1,133.5

4. New Orleans, LA 312,000 3,496 1,120.5

5. Pittsburgh, PA 312,819 3,473 1,110.2

6. Riverside, CA 293,761 2,014 685.6

7. Aurora, CO 303,582 1,858 612.0

8. Bakersfield, CA 308,392 1,575 510.7

Property Crime Category (includes...burglary...theft...and auto theft)

City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

1. Toledo, OH 298,446 22,711 7,609.8

2. Cincinnati, OH 332,252 21,837 6,572.4

3. Tampa, FL 332,888 18,744 5,630.7

4. Bakersfield, CA 308,392 15,722 5,098.1

5. New Orleans, LA 312,000 15,722 5,039.0

6. Pittsburgh, PA 312,819 15,166 4,848.2

7. Aurora, CO 303,582 12,689 4,179.8

8. Riverside, CA 293,761 12,136 4,131.2

Total Crime

City Pop. Total Rate/100,000

1. Toledo, OH 298,446 26,172 8,769.4

2. Cincinnati, OH 332,252 25,603 7,705.9

3. Tampa, FL 332,888 22,583 6,784.0

4. New Orleans, LA 312,000 19,218 6,160.0

5. Pittsburgh, PA 312,819 18,639 5,958.4

6. Bakersfield, CA 308,392 17,297 5,608.8

7. Aurora, CO 303,582 14,547 4,791.8

8. Riverside, CA 293,761 14,150 4,816.8

Overall...we run in the middle of the pack. However...we will continue to be the murder capital of the nation. At the current rate of 17 murders a month on average...I project 202 murders with a per capita rate of 64.7/100,000. This may be conservative. Cincinnati is next closest with a rate of 26.8/100,000. We come in 5th for rapes, 5th for robberies, but 3rd for assaults. For property crimes, we come in 3rd for burglaries...which probably reflects the post-K taking of copper pipes that has been a big problem, but we have the lowest thefts per capita of any of the cities. Unfortunately, New Orleans has the highest auto theft rate per capita of any of the cities at 1,008.3 auto thefts/100,000. Tampa is next at 927.3/100,000.

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