By Natasha Robin | Fox 8 | September 4, 2019
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) – Crime watchdog Rafael Goyeneche viewed the NOPD Swat Team body camera footage, from what unfolded inside the Juvenile Justice Center last month (Aug. 15), when investigators say several juveniles barricaded themselves in a cell and threatened staff.
“It demonstrates that there was a shocking lack of capabilities to deal with issues like that within the Youth Study Center,” Goyeneche said.
The body cameras were rolling around 11 that night when the Special Operations Division entered the building. What remains unseen is what happened hours earlier when according to the police report, five to seven juveniles prepared for a confrontation with staff, calling a riot, barricading subject and gathering weapons.
At the time, Mayor Latoya Cantrell denied the incident was a riot.
“Once there were officers on the scene, we were able to get a sense of what the true conditions where and no, they did not have any knives. It was not a riot at all,” Cantrell said on August 16.
Also in the report, the 3rd District Commander briefed officers about a possible incident an hour before they arrived to the facility.
“Why did they allow it to escalate to the point that the NOPD SWAT Team had to be called in?” Goyeneche said.