By WDSU Digital Team | WDSU | August 9, 2021
The New Orleans Police Department held a news conference Monday to address concerns after a second violent weekend in a row.
NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said the common theme amongst crime and arrests over the weekend was with people who do not live here bringing illegal guns into the city.
Ferguson urged visitors coming to the city to not bring illegal weapons and that they will not be tolerated.
Over the weekend, a total of 14 people were shot and three were killed.
Here is a breakdown of the shootings over the weekend:
10:15 p.m. Saturday in the 2800 Block of Magnolia Street: Man killed
1:47 a.m. Sunday in the 700 block of Bourbon Street: Three men injured, one woman injured
3:51 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of St. Claude Avenue and Louisa Street: 43-year-old man injured
5:34 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Conti Street and North Villere Street: Two women, one man injured
6:05 p.m. Sunday in the 7700 block of Shubert Street: Three people shot and injured, one person killed
6:05 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Saigon Drive and Henri Drive: Man and woman shot and injured
1:05 a.m. Monday in the 220 block of Allen Street: Man killed, a 15-year-old girl injured
Ferguson also said there is a disturbing trend in gun accidents with children.
Ferguson said three kids were shot over the last week in New Orleans.
Those children included a 2-year-old who accidentally shot themselves, Chief Ferguson said.
Another child accidentally shot a 3 and 7-year-old. The child abuse unit is investigating these cases, according to Ferguson.
Last week, Ferguson called the uptick in crime “alarming, and disturbing.”
Ferguson shared statistics during a news conference two weeks ago that addressed the city’s significant increase in violent crime, although he said such activity has ebbed in recent weeks thanks to recent police initiatives.
Ferguson acknowledged he had read the recent Metropolitan Crime Commission’s report that highlights the increase in violent crime over the past two years. The report also suggested the department needed to add another 400 officers to effectively combat crime in New Orleans.
The police chief did not discuss any specific strategies in place to attract more police recruits, only indicating that he and Mayor LaToya Cantrell supported efforts to augment the number of officers on the force.
The police profession has struggled nationwide with perception, Ferguson said. Before the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, the NOPD would typically receive about 500 applications a month to its training academy. Ferguson said that number has fallen by 50 since then.
Ferguson said one thing the NOPD has in its favor when it comes to enticing prospective officers is that it has set the pace when it comes to implementing constitutional police practices. Many of those were the result of a federal consent decree that followed an investigation into civil rights abuses and corruption in the department.