Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Downtick of Upticks

[EDIT # 2 - 07/03/07] The T-P says this murder was number 100. My count put it at 97. I found one murder I missed, and maybe they are counting this hit and run, which would be a murder. Possibly, there is one other murder I missed, or they are including a murder which the coroner says happened in 2006, but the victim was found in 2007. I count that murder in the 2006 stats. The NOPD has counted it both ways.

The beating I missed and the hit and run add two to all my numbers in the 2nd quarter of 2007. This means, unfortunately, that there was no downtick.

[EDIT] So, overnight there were two more murders yesterday and one early this morning. That changes all the numbers I had when I wrote this at 1 a.m. The edits are in brackets.

As of July 1, 2007, there have been 93 [95] murders in New Orleans this year (by my count). With 181 days in the year completed, that comes to an average of one murder every 1.94 [1.90] days – basically, a murder every other day. If that average stays the same all year, we will end 2007 with 187 [191] murders. In a city of 262,000 people, that comes to a murder rate of 71 [72.9] murders per 100,000 residents.

If nothing changes, 94 [96] more human beings will die a violent death on the streets of New Orleans this year. And most of those who die will be African-American men, often young, and almost always they will be shot.

From July 1, 2006, to July 1, 2007, there have been 198 [200] murders in New Orleans. Using an average of the population estimates over that time period (223,000 in July 2006; 262,000 in May 2007; the average is 242,500), New Orleans has a murder rate of 81.6 [82.4] murders per 100,000 residents over the past 365-day period.

As a point of reference, the next highest murder rate in the country in 2006 was Gary, IN, (pop. 97,715) with a murder rate of 48.3 murders per 100,000 residents. And the next highest city with a similar population was Birmingham, AL, (pop. 229,424) in fifth place with a murder rate of 44.5. I am not sure what their murder rates are over the last year.

However, there has been a “downtick” (as Mayor Nagin might say) in this last quarter (April, May, and June) with 45 [47] murders:

Jul-Aug-Sep 2006 – 53 murders
Oct-Nov-Dec 2006 – 52 murders
Jan-Feb-Mar 2007 – 48 murders
Apr-May-Jun 2007 – 45 [47] murders
In fact, each quarter has seen fewer murders than the one before it. Let's hope that's a trend, not a blip.

Of course, though I throw out all these numbers, it is not the numbers who die. It is not the numbers we mourn. Family and friends don’t lose numbers.

We lose people.

17 people in January.

13 people in February.

18 people in March.

14 people in April.

15 people in May.

16 [18] people in June.

06/02/07 – 1 murder
78) The woman, Tammie Johnson, 36, of New Orleans, died of a shotgun blast to the chest, chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano said.

On Saturday shortly before 8:30 p.m., police were called to a house in the 4800 block of Rosalia Drive and found Johnson on the floor.
06/03/07 – 1 murder
79) Larry Hawkins, 26, of New Orleans, was found shot dead shortly after 7 a.m. in an alley in the 1300 block of Bartholomew Street.

He suffered two gunshot wounds to the face, Gagliano said.
06/04/07 – 2 murders
80) Earlier Monday, Terrell Ceazer, 25, of New Orleans, was fatally shot in Treme.

***

He died Monday shortly after 4 a.m. at University Hospital, said chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano, who released his identity.

An autopsy showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

81) Police said a man was shot to death by his wife Monday evening in the Central City neighborhood, the fourth slaying in New Orleans in three days and the second Monday, police said.

The Orleans Parish coroner's office identified the dead man as George Hammond, 45, of New Orleans.

Police said his wife, Janet Hammond, was a suspect.

Police responded to a call about gunshots in the 1800 block of Second Street shortly before 7:30 p.m., and found George Hammond inside a blue shotgun double, Sabrine Richardson, a police public information officer said.
06/05/07 – 1 murder
82) The Orleans Parish coroner's office has released the identity of a 19-year-old man who was gunned down Tuesday night in Central City.

Someone used an AK-47 assault rifle to shoot Persale R. Green shortly before 10 p.m., New Orleans police said.

Green, of New Orleans, was found face down on a sidewalk in the 1600 block of Baronne Street, midway between Terpsichore and Euterpe streets.

An autopsy showed Green was shot several times, said chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano, who released his identity.
06/09/07 – 2 murders
83) The first shooting occurred about 9:40 p.m. on a sidewalk in the 3400 block of Touro Street, between Pleasure and Lafreniere streets. An 18-year-old man died at the scene, in the area of Interstate 610 and Elysian Fields Avenue.

84) About 45 minutes later, the second shooting took place at Marais and Spain streets, in the St. Roch neighborhood. A 27-year-old man was found dead in the street. He suffered multiple shots to the body, police said.
06/10/07 – 1 murder
85) Samuel Gonzales, 26, of Guatemala, was killed Sunday about 2 a.m. in the 4200 block of Clara Street in the general area of Napoleon and South Claiborne avenues.

Gonzales was found after shots were heard. Police said he was a local resident, but he was from Guatemala, said Gagliano, who released his identity.
06/11/07 – 2 murders
86) A 19-year-old New Orleans man was fatally shot Monday afternoon in his car on a Central City street, dying about three hours later after driving himself to the hospital, police and the coroner's office said.

Darryl Williams was pronounced dead at Touro Infirmary at 3:50 p.m., said John Gagliano, spokesman for the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office.

87) Robin Malta, 43, was found dead in his house at 634 Port St. between Chartres and Royal streets when his sister went to check on him, Gagliano said.

He said the exact cause of death was not known, but the case was being treated as a homicide Monday night.
06/17/07 – 3 murders
88) In a third, unrelated case, the coroner's office Friday identified a man shot to death early Sunday in the Lower 9th Ward as Jason Wynne, 21, who lived in St. Bernard Parish but was originally from Georgia, said John Gagliano, chief investigator of the coroner's office.

Wynne was found in the middle of Gordon and Urquhart streets by 5th District officers responding to a report of shots being fired in the area shortly before 4 a.m., New Orleans police said.

89) Jerrell Jackson, 21, was shot Sunday about 6:30 p.m. in Central City in the 2200 block of Josephine Street, between Simon Bolivar Avenue and South Liberty Street. He was pronounced dead at 7:25 a.m. at University Hospital.

90) In a second fatal shooting on Sunday, the coroner's office has identified the victim as Christopher Roberts, 33, of New Orleans. Police officials didn't provide any information about that killing, which occurred in the 1900 block of Esplanade Avenue.
06/22/07 – 1 murder
91) A 22-year-old man was fatally shot early this morning in eastern New Orleans, police said.

Officers responding to an emergency call found the man laying in the street around 4 a.m. in the 7800 block of Star Street, New Orleans Police said in a news release. The man, whose identity was not released, had been shot several times.

***

The man killed in Little Woods was identified as Samuel Williams Jr. He had gunshot wounds to the back and head, police spokeswoman Officer Jonette Williams said.
06/29/07 – 1 murder
92) A 19-year-old New Orleans man was shot to death Friday on an Annunciation Street sidewalk in a neighborhood of mixed-income homes where the St. Thomas public housing complex was located, police said.

The man was identified as Jeremy Tillman of New Orleans. He was shot several times and died at the scene, police said. One bullet appeared to have entered his side near his heart, officers said.
06/30/07 – 1 [3] murder[s]
93) The murder took place shortly after 1 p.m. at the intersection of Higgins Street and Press Drive, according to Officer Jonette Williams, an NOPD spokesperson.

Fifth District Officers found the victim lying in the driveway of a home with a gunshot wound to the head, Williams said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators have not identified the victim, but said she did have a tattoo on her right forearm that said “Jennifer.”

[ADDED]

94) The first of those slayings occurred shortly after 10 p.m. when New Orleans police officers found a 33-year-old New Orleans man dead on the porch of a residence at 1440 Annette Street. The victim, whose name is being withheld pending notification of family, suffered stab wounds to the neck.

[ADDED]

95) The second incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. when a 33-year-old man died from several gunshot wounds to his body, said Officer Jonette Williams, police spokeswoman.
Fifth District officers responded to a call of gunfire at 3023 Republic St. and found the victim lying on the porch with gunshot wounds to the torso.
I mentioned Jerrell Jackson in a previous post. Law enforcers suspect Jeremy Tillman lived a similarly full thug life:
Police said they have no suspect, although officers speculated that revenge might have fueled the killing.

Detectives were recently investigating Tillman's possible involvement in a fatal shooting about three weeks ago in Central City, officers said, though there was insufficient evidence to arrest him.

Tillman was a "701 release" in February at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, when the district attorney's office failed to present to a magistrate within 60 days enough evidence to detain him further on charges of possession of crack cocaine and resisting arrest, according to court records.
I do not see the justice in street justice. When Thug #1 murders someone and gets away with it, there is a murderer on the streets. When Thug #2 comes and kills Thug #1 and gets away with it, one murderer is off the streets. But we have gained another murderer, and we are back where we started. Actually, we never went anywhere.

In fact, we seem to be going backwards:
Orleans Parish prosecutors on Friday dropped all charges against the teenager accused of murdering the drummer for the Hot 8 Brass Band in December, saying their key witness, a 15-year-old girl, refuses to testify.

David Bonds, 18, was charged with the second-degree murder of Dinerral Shavers, 25, a band teacher at Rabouin High School and a Hot 8 Brass Band member who was shot in the head while he drove his wife and two children along the 2200 block of Dumaine Street on the evening of Dec. 28.

***

Prosecutors said they have been unable even to serve a subpoena to the state's witness, whose mother refuses to let her daughter cooperate.

"She will never allow her daughter to testify," said Anthony Satcher, a homicide investigator for the district attorney's office, on the witness stand Friday. "She said she'd rather be in jail."
Our community is not only afraid of the murderer on the streets, but also by the murderer behind bars. Thus, the community is held captive while the criminals are set free.

9 comments:

MAD said...

With the metropolitan population now at 91% of the pre-K level, use of the 260,000 Orleans Parish population estimates to calculate Orleans murder rates creates a statistical anomaly. While any murder is one too many, of course, we are not really a far more violent city than we were before the storm, as the raw data otherwise suggests. The high murder rate in N.O. murder is in part a function of the artificial setting of narrow parish boundaries, a constraint that many other cities do not share. Draw the parish boundaries for Orleans around Central City, and you will see rates that rival Baghdad, while the rest of Orleans magically becomes "safer".

da po' boy said...

Statistics are merely statistics. They tell various stories, depending how you read the numbers.

The story I would like to tell is that there is something wrong with the New Orleans criminal justice system when it comes to murders.

I agree that the “use of the 260,000 Orleans Parish population estimates to calculate Orleans murder rates creates a statistical anomaly.” That is the point of my post. I am not commenting on the safety of a person who lives, visits, or is traveling through New Orleans.

New Orleans shares an easily crossed border with Jefferson Parish. Going by JPSO stats, they have had 12 murders in 2007 as of June 1 (http://www.jpso.com/crimestats.htm). I know of at least one murder in Kenner in June, which makes at least 13 in JP for 2007. At the end of last year, the LRA set JP’s population at 97% of pre-Katrina levels, around 440,000 people.

If I were to include Jefferson Parish’s population and murders, how would that help me evaluate the efficiency of the New Orleans criminal justice system concerning murders?

JP and NOLA have different and separate criminal justice systems. They do cooperate, but the statistics present vastly different results when it comes to murders: New Orleans – pop. 262,000 with 93 murders in 2007. JP – pop. approx. 440,000 with at least 13 murders in 2007 (I do not know the exact number, but it is not approaching 93).

New Orleans is further isolated from JP given the level of devastation from Hurricane Katrina and the continued depopulation. Simply put, New Orleans’ situation is unique. I think including “the metropolitan population now at 91% of the pre-K level” into my evaluation of New Orleans would do more than create a statistical anomaly, but would skew the numbers in a way that would render them useless to make valid conclusions for my purpose.

I also think using St. Tammany Parish statistics is not useful for the same reasons. I would also add that Lake Pontchartrain presents a physical barrier that further isolates New Orleans and the parish.

As I said, I do not present these statistics in order to judge the relative safety of any given person in New Orleans. In fact, we know who is safe and who isn’t. Your example of setting “the parish boundaries for Orleans around Central City” speaks very much to the theme of my post.

Juvenile Court Judge David Bell told a Senate Judiciary Committee:

"We have a very violent city if you're between 18 and 35 years old, an African-American male, and you are involved in the drug trade,” he said. “But if you don't fall in that category, we are a very safe city." (http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl062107tpsafe.5bdb00.html)

That also speaks to the theme of my post, which is why I write:

If nothing changes, 94 more human beings will die a violent death on the streets of New Orleans this year. And most of those who die will be African-American men, often young, and almost always they will be shot.

I do not think we disagree on the relative safety of a person in New Orleans. But that is not the story I am reading in these numbers.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article about Baltimore.....155 murders so far this year...
http://tinyurl.com/2yy2nd

From the article...

Yet the outrage is hard to find almost anywhere in the city - whether in thriving neighborhoods isolated from violence or in communities immersed in it.

In January, when New Orleans faced an escalating number of murders, nearly 3,000 people marched on City Hall. That same month, Baltimore's NAACP held an anti-violence rally. Fifty people showed.


--scout

MAD said...

The problem is with publications like the TP boldly declaring to the country that we are once again the "murder capital". We all know what that does to our ability to successfuly rebuild. I am not at all suggesting that we gloss over our problems with violent crime, but if per capita comparative analyses is the standard for informing public perception as to which cities are safe and which are not, then let's compare apples and apples. If 100,000 or so Orleans Parish residents still reside in the area and continue to interact with the city for job and other purposes, but now live just outside of the parish boundaries, then let's factor that into the determination as to the city's per capita murder rate.
Utilization of per capita measurements is valid only if all cities are measured by the same or comparable objective standards, but random and arbitrary political boundary determinations make that difficult and wholly unreliable. A better approach would be to compare murder rates among the nation's SMSAs.

Karen said...

The weekend Murder rate will continue unabated.

The German said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The German said...

Only two things can stop the murders: education and enforcement. By enforcement, I lump police in with the criminal justice system. Because if one is broken, the other is pointless. Sadly education and criminal justice are not winning any prizes. Cant' serve a subpoena? B/S. Guess there is always "duck & cover".

Leigh C. said...

The T-P says this morning we've reached 100, by the way...

http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/07/sunday_murder_citys_100th_of_2.html

As Mark Twain has said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. These are PEOPLE we are talking about here, not mere numbers. Throw in as many variables as you'd like. Bottom line is, these are unnatural deaths and it is within most people's power to do something about it. The city's recovery is at stake, not to mention our own lives...

da po' boy said...

Yeah. I saw that. I count 97 murders in 2007. I know the NOPD counts one more murder than me, a woman found dead 01/03/07, but the coroner said she was killed in 2006.

So, if the T-P is getting their numbers from the police, then the paper is saying there were two more murders than I counted. The funny thing is, I use the T-P reports to get my numbers.

So, either I missed some reports or the T-P didn't report them. Most likely, I missed two reports.

If anyone knows what I missed, please let me know.