By Natasha Robin | WVUE | November 13, 2020
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Police Chief Shaun Ferguson says he wants the public to know that his officers are committed and working hard to keep the city safe.
At the same time, he says murders are up, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission by 87 percent. Shootings are up and carjackings are happening at an alarming rate.
Chief Ferguson says arrests are being made.
He displayed a number of high-powered weapons that were confiscated from an SUV in the 4300 block of Clio Street when police received a call of individuals with guns.
Three people were arrested that day, including a juvenile, and he pointed out all of those guns were found on that one scene. He says so far this year, the NOPD seized 1,680 guns off the street.
He says the NOPD made a 60 percent increase in carjacking arrests so far this year, but the carjackings are happening much more often. Chief Ferguson also pointed out the criminal justice system consists of much more than the NOPD. He says, oftentimes, officers are arresting the same individuals who are receiving low bonds in court and return back to the street within days.
“For example, Mr. Ronald Sewell was arrested on Sept. 11 for aggravated battery by shooting after a 14-hour standoff with our officers. His bond was set at $25, 000. He paid 3 percent of that, $500 and he was released 3 days later. And I have to tell you the very next month we arrested Mr. Sewell again for a homicide that occurred in May of 2018,” Ferguson said.
The NOPD created the VCAT team recently. It’s an investigative unit that’s targeting criminals who commit murders, shootings and armed robberies. The chief says there was a significant arrest recently that the VCAT team worked on and he expects many more arrests to follow.
In the meantime, Chief Ferguson says they always need help from the public. He’s encouraging anyone who can help investigators to call Crimestoppers.