Three New Year's Eve killings brought the city's murder total to 161 for 2006. Depending on which population estimate is used, that works out to a rate of 60 to 81 killings per 100,000 residents. But two-thirds of the murders were in the last half of the year.It’s hard to tell what that murder rate means. Even though there are only 200,000 people living here, we still have the problems of a city built for half a million. On top of that, we have the problems of a city built for half a million people that was then hit by a hurricane and the levees didn’t work, devastating the infrastructure of our criminal justice system, which didn’t work well before the storm.
National figures for 2006 won't be in for months. But in 2005, the highest rate in any city was 67 per 100,000 in Compton, Calif., a city of just under 97,000. New Orleans wasn't included in FBI crime statistics last year because of Hurricane Katrina.
We will probably equal our pre-Katrina murder total way before we equal our pre-Katrina population total, which will make the murder rate crazy high. But, as Chris at prytaniawaterline.com points out, that just means we have the same old problems:
If the chief is trying to make the tourists feel safe then maybe he needs to tell them the truth. If you are white and you don’t do drugs your chances of being murdered in this city greatly decrease. Wake up Riley we are living on the same bloody streets that we lived on before the storm, trying to claim that you have accomplished anything is a stretch.They know where they crime is. They know where the drugs are. They know where the murders are going to happen. It’s all in the same place it was before the storm.
The same old same old is getting old.