By Natasha Robin | WVUE | January 27, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The NOPD isn’t arresting people for the majority of carjackings across New Orleans, according to recent city council data.
While the police department disputes the numbers, one crime watchdog says the arrests shouldn’t reflect on the amount of carjackings unfolding in the community.
During a criminal justice committee meeting, the city council’s public safety analyst, Jeff Asher, painted a grim picture when it comes to the amount of arrests the NOPD is making for the crime.
“We had a huge increase in carjacking in 2020 and then another increase in 2021,” said Asher.
Ashers says there were 210 carjackings in New Orleans last year, and his data shows less than one in four of those incidents resulted in an arrest or less than 25%.
The NOPD disputes the numbers, claiming there were 203 armed carjacking incidents, and 68 of them resulted in at least one arrest with a 33% arrest rate.
Rafael Goyeneche with the metropolitan crime commission believes the low arrest rate is the result of fewer officers on the street.
“The carjackers realize the odds are in their favor. if they commit a carjacking.. they’re not going to be arrested but what is also contributing to the acceleration and growth of carjacking.. is that they believe the system will not hold them accountable.”
According to the NOPD, of these 68 incidents, 35 carjacking charges were filed between 27 people. NOPD says 24 of the 27 people were juveniles.
“I think the arrests don’t necessarily document the impact of the offenders that were arrested. I think it’s safe to say that the people that are being arrested…if they are removed from the street…I think the carjackings will go down,” said Rafael Goyeneche.
District Attorney Jason Williams recently presented a plan to increase public safety, including charging carjacking suspects with armed robbery. Meanwhile, NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson is expected to soon announce his plan moving forward.