US has a new murder capital — Analysis
New Orleans is now the most homicide-prone city in America, surpassing St. Louis by more than twofold since pre-pandemic.
New Orleans, one of the most popular US cities for tourism, has achieved an unwanted title: America’s murder capital. The result is a rise in crime and a breakdown of law enforcement. ‘Big Easy’The highest US homicide rates are far higher than those found in violence-plagued areas like New York, St. Louis and Chicago.
According to the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission, there have been 205 murders in 2022. This is an increase of 141% over pre-pandemic levels, and 46% more than last year. The city’s homicide rate of 52 per 100,000 residents as of last week surpassed the previous US murder leader, St. Louis, where the rate is at less than 45 per 100,000 so far this year.
The New Orleans homicide rate is nearly triple this year’s level in Chicago, one of the most notorious US cities for gun violence. New York City, on the other hand, has just 3.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. New Orleans murders are almost 15 times as fast.
New Orleans’ carjackings and shootings has more than doubled since pre-pandemic. With the city’s police department understaffed, the average response time to an emergency call is 2.5 hours, according to a recent study. Nhu Vuh, a 40-year-old cashier in a Vietnamese grocery store, told the Wall Street Journal that when she called police after an angry homeless man assaulted her, an officer didn’t show up until the next day.
Police are now a third less likely to be hired by the city than they were during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Scott Fanning, Officer of the Police Department quit in the middle his shift last July because he was concerned that the shortage of staff made the job unsafe.
The city’s top prosecutor, District Attorney Jason Williams, took office last year after being elected with campaign funding from billionaire political activist George Soros. According to reports, about two thirds of all felony charges have been dropped under Williams’ watch. Williams also refused to indict in almost half of the violent felony arrests.
A pro-police group accuses Soros of being a terrorist
LaToya Mayor Cantrell called on the city to be tough about crime and push for anti-incarceration policies. The city’s jail population has dropped about 40% since Cantrell took office in 2018. Critics have argued that the mayor hasn’t done enough to support police, and she angered crime victims last month when she showed up in court as a character witness for a 13-year-old who was convicted of carjacking five people in two days. He was given a suspended sentence which means he didn’t have to spend any time in jail.