Thursday, August 02, 2007

111 Human Beings

As of August 1, 2007, there have been 111 murders in New Orleans this year. With 212 days in the year completed, that comes to an average of one murder every 1.909 days – basically, a murder every other day. If that average stays the same all year, we will end 2007 with 191 murders. In a city of 300,000 people, that comes to a murder rate of 63 murders per 100,000 residents.

If nothing changes, 80 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.

The Times-Picayune has a blog with a map of all the murders and information about all 111 deaths, including victim names and details about the status of the murder investigations. This is the way it should be done.

Along with, we are well served on the mapping front.

St. Anna's Episcopal Church is recording the murders of 2007 on a board outside of the church. From the T-P article:
The Rev. Bill Terry, the pony-tailed pastor at St. Anna's Episcopal Church, updates The List each Monday afternoon with a black permanent marker: date, name, age, gender, manner of death (shot/beaten/stabbed).


He and Elaine Clemments, a deacon in training, sought to both funnel their outrage and honor victims. When a victim becomes a statistic, people have a tendency to look at the victim and make a value judgment: He's a criminal, he probably deserved it. To Terry, it makes no difference.

"It's a human being someone loved," he said, sitting in the rectory hall, clutching a cup of coffee.
Human beings someone loved.

January – 17 human beings someone loved murdered

February – 13 human beings someone loved murdered

March – 18 human beings someone loved murdered

April – 14 human beings someone loved murdered

May – 15 human beings someone loved murdered

June – 19 human beings someone loved murdered

July – 14 human beings someone loved murdered

07/01/07 – 2 murders
98) A 26-year-old man was gunned down in the 1500 block of North Johnson Street early Sunday and a man was arrested in connection with the slaying later that same morning.


According to investigators, First District Officers responding to a call found the victim lying in the driver's seat of a vehicle, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

99) The most recent crime related death took place just around 9 p.m. in Orleans Parish in the 1800 block of St. Roch.
Police said they found the body of a 65-year-old man in the side alley of an abandoned warehouse. He had a gunshot wound to the head.
07/05/07 – 1 murder
100) An autopsy determined Jerome Banks, 27, of New Orleans was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest, said chief cororner's investigator John Gagliano, who released his identity.
About 6:55 a.m., police responded to a call found Banks lying in high grass in the driveway of a vacant house in the 6000 block of Beechcraft Street, said Garry Flot, a public information officer for the New Orleans police.
He said police found evidence that Banks was shot nearby in the 4500 block of Skyview.
07/13/07 – 1 murder
101) One man was killed and two others wounded, but a baby narrowly escaped injury Friday evening, when gunshots from a passing vehicle were fired at a parked van in Central City, New Orleans police said.
None of the victims was identified by police. One died at a local hospital, where he was taken shortly after the shooting. He had been with at least three other people in a parked van, the apparent target of a drive-by shooting at about 8:35 p.m., police said.
07/14/07 – 1 murder
102) An 18-year-old man who was shot and killed in Central City on Saturday has been identified as Keith Paige of New Orleans, the Orleans Parish coroner's office said.
Paige was shot Saturday about 5 p.m. at Freret and Third streets, New Orleans police said. He died the same day at 7:55 p.m. at University Hospital.
An autopsy showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds…
07/18/07 – 2 murders
103) A 33-year-old man was shot in Eastern New Orleans at about 12:30 a.m. on Michoud Boulevard near Adventure Avenue, New Orleans police said.
The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family members.
According to investigators, Seventh District officers responded to a call of a "male shot" and, upon their arrival, found the victim lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to his body next to a vehicle. Emergency medical technicians were summoned to the scene, where he was pronounced dead.

104) Paul Burks, 24, of New Orleans was shot about 10:30 p.m. in the 2100 block of Annunciation Street, between Jackson Avenue and Josephine Street. A private citizen drove Burks to Touro Infirmary, where he died Thursday at 1:24 a.m.
An autopsy showed Burks suffered one gunshot wound to the back, said chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano.
07/21/07 – 1 murder
105) The New Orleans Police Department is investigating the shooting death around 9:30 a.m., Saturday, of a 54-year-old man near the corner of Jackson Avenue and Baronne Street in Central City.
Police did not immediately have any motive or suspects in the shooting at a car wash at 2139 Baronne St., police spokeswoman Sabrina Richardson said. The coroner's office did not immediately identify the victim.
Richardson said officers responded around 9:30 a.m. to a report of shots fired. They found the victim dead at the scene of a gun shot to the head.
07/22/07 – 2 murders
106) A 26-year-old man was shot and killed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Eagle and Spruce streets, the New Orleans Police Department said.
Dallas Jerome suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and a fatal shot to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano.

107) A New Orleans teenager was found shot to death and another one wounded in an Algiers neighborhood Sunday night.
New Orleans police continued the search for a motive and suspects Monday after James Johnson, 19, was found dead and an 18-year-old wounded.
New Orleans police officers responded to a call Sunday shortly after 8:30 p.m. reporting a man lying near the street at 3537 Timber Wolf Lane. They and found the older victim with a gunshot wounds, including one to the head, officer Sabrina Richardson said. He was taken to University Hospital, where he died, said John Gagliano, spokesman for the New Orleans coroner's office.
07/26/07 – 1 murder
108) New Orleans police are looking for the gunman in an early-morning carjacking that left one man dead Thursday.
A friend said he'd rented his Panola Street pool house to 49-year-old Anthony White, who became the 108th homicide victim in New Orleans this year.
White was a contractor for Jacobs Engineering out of Baton Rouge, Brad Robinson said. He was shot and killed at about 3 a.m.
"It was a carjacking, and it could've happened to you -- it could've happened to anybody watching this broadcast. The guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Robinson said.
White's blue 2002 Jeep Liberty was taken.

07/28/07 – 1 murder
109) A man was fatally shot Saturday night in the Zion City neighborhood, New Orleans police said.
The unidentified man was found dead in the Palmetto Canal along the 4100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shortly before 9 p.m.
The man died on the paved area inside the canal, not in the water. He appeared to have multiple gunshot wounds, said Sgt. Joe Narcisse, a police public information officer.

07/30/07 – 1 murder
110) Police received a report of gunshots around 7 a.m. in the 1400 block of Bienville Street, according to New Orleans Police Department officer Garry Flot. When police arrived, they found a man lying face down on the ground. He had been shot several times, Flot said.
The victim was identified by the Orleans Parish coroner's office as 24-year-old John W. Barrow III. Barrow was living in Baton Rouge, but had recently returned to New Orleans, said John Gagliano, chief investigator for the office.
Barrow was gunned down in a patch of well-grown grass, under the shade of a tree that reached to the top of the development's three-story buildings.
07/31/07 – 1 murder
111) One man is dead and another is hospitalized in stable condition after an early morning shooting Tuesday in the 9th Ward.
Shortly before 1 a.m., 5th District police responded to a call of "male down" near the corner of Marais and Pauline streets near the Industrial Canal, officer Sabrina Richardson said.
Officers found one man with a gunshot wound in his chest and another with a gunshot wound in his buttocks, according to police.
John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish coroner's office, identified the man with the chest wound as Kevin Underwood, 22. Underwood died at University Hospital, Gagliano said.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What's Matt at Fix the Pumps Going to Do Now?

He said good bye on his blog. I have a suggestion for his next challenge:
Vacancy Announcement Number: SWGY07068166D

Changes to the Job Announcement: Must Possess a Professional Engineering Registration
Opening Date: June 29, 2007 Closing Date: July 13, 2007
Position: Supervisory General Engineer, YF-0801-2
Salary: $56,301 - $107,991 Annual
Place of Work: Hurricane Protection Office, Executive Support Division, Technical Support Branch, New Orleans, LA
Position Status: Temporary Position Not to Exceed: 3 YRS -- Full Time
Number of Vacancy: 1
Just kidding.

I nominate Fix the Pumps as the first inductee into the NOLA Bloggers Hall of Fame.

Thanks, Matt.

You Attack Jesus. You Attack America.

Slidell Mayor Ben Morris, with my emphasis:
"Our money has God's name on it. The Pledge of Allegiance has God's name on it. Congress opens up with a prayer. And they run around like chickens with their heads cut off, that this is fostering religion. I don't think it fosters anything. I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind," Mayor Ben Morris said. [LINK]
Slidell Mayor Ben Morris says the city will fight the ACLU. " Guess again boys, You're in for a fight. As diverse we are, Slidell is an All American city. We will not cut and run. File you damn lawsuit.' said Morris. [LINK]
"I fight daily with FEMA for the recovery of our city, and now we must fight these tyrants, this American Taliban, who seek to destroy our culture and our heritage," Morris said. [LINK]
Because Ben Morris, the Mayor of Slidell, the executive of the city, equates Christian heritage with American heritage and the heritage of Slidell, and says so publicly and vociferously, one may conclude that to attack Jesus is to attack the City of Slidell, an “All American City.” Extending the analogy, one may conclude that the mayor of Slidell is saying to attack Jesus is to attack America.

If this is not the establishment of a religion by government, or at least the preference of one religion, I don’t know what is.

City Court Judge Jim Lamz knows better. His statements, and those of representatives from his court, minimize the role religion plays in the their desire to keep Slidell Jesus up:
"Due to the display's historical place in the courthouse, I explored options to obtain a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the display without an adversarial court battle," he said. "I could find none." [LINK]
"It's more than just a picture of Jesus," [court spokeswoman Ann] Barks said. "It might have more to do with the business of the court than purely religious reasons." [LINK]
"The ideas expressed in this painting aren't specific to any one faith, and they certainly don't establish a single state religion," he [Mike Johnson, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund] said. "The reason Americans enjoy equal justice is because we are all created equal, endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable rights. This painting is a clear reflection of the ideas in the Declaration of Independence." [LINK]
What we have here are two contradictory reasons for Slidell Jesus to stay up: It should stay up because it is not religious; it should stay up because it is religious.

The “not religious” reason is held by those tasked with defending Slidell Jesus in court. If Slidell Jesus is not religious, but historical, then it does not violate the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment and may remain exhibited in the lobby of the Slidell City Court.

The “religious” reason is held by Mayor Ben Morris, speaking for Joe and Jane Slidell. He equates (or conflates) his Christian heritage with Slidell’s heritage, even extending it to represent America’s heritage. To him, putting up a picture of Jesus is like putting up an American flag – not in a historical sense, but in a truly patriotic sense. He is saying that America’s history *is* religious, specifically Christian, and that’s why Slidell Jesus should stay up.

Joe and Jane Slidell are the crux of this decision. We know what the politicians and the ACLU think. We’ve seen the press conferences. But, what does the average person think when they walk into Slidell City Court and look up at Slidell Jesus?

It is safe to assume that the people who want the picture to come down look up and see a religious image. That’s why they want it to come down.

And, after reading about the protest rally last week, I think it is safe to assume that the people who want the picture to stay also look up and see a religious image:
"You know, (the ACLU) is picking on a small community," said Randy Lee, 60, of Slidell. A self-described Christian fundamentalist, he gripped a hand-lettered sign that read "In God We Trust."

"Christians are seen as very passive. It's time for Christian people to stand up and say, 'Hey!'"

The rally lasted about an hour and was peppered with prayer and shouts of "Hallelujah!" and "Praise Jesus!" Toward the end of her speech, the Rev. Kathleen Javery-Bacon, of the Holy Ghost and Fire Revival Ministries in Slidell, raised her arm to the sky while chanting, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus" as the crowd echoed her cry.
So, pretty much everyone looks up and sees a religious image. But what about the message? The words written in Cyrillic… are they a universal message about judging wisely as a city court certainly should?

Who cares. I can’t read Cyrillic. Can you? If you can, that's actually pretty cool. I'm sure it is a useful skill.

But if you are not there to translate for the average Slidellian, he or she will look up and see a picture of Jesus holding a book. Mostly likely, he or she will assume that book is the Bible. Then, under the Bible-wielding Jesus, he or she will read, “TO KNOW PEACE, OBEY THESE LAWS,” and can only conclude that “these laws” refer to the Bible.

And Ben Morris is okay with that.

I like to think the Constitution isn’t.

One more thing. For those who can read Cyrillic, they know that the phrases in Slidell Jesus’ book are Gospel verses:
According to the court's research, one quotation is from John 7:24. In the King James version of the Bible, it reads: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

The second quotation is from Matthew 7:2: "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
Sure, they talk about judgment. But, knowing a little bit about Christianity, that word “judgment” isn't talking about whether or not you go to jail, but whether or not you go to heaven - or go to hell like me.

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

There Was No Downtick

Part of the reason I started keeping track of media reports of murders in New Orleans was because I saw varying numbers of how many people were murdered. And, when the numbers didn’t vary, the explanations for them did. So, I wanted my own information to make my own conclusions.

I have posted my numbers throughout the year on this blog. It appears I missed two, possibly three murders.

The T-P says this murder was the number 100. I had it as 97. I went back and found a murder I missed, as well as a hit and run fatality that I did not include, though I should have because that is a murder. New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch had both.

I can not find a third murder that I missed. It is probably out there, or the T-P may be including a murder that the coroner concluded happened in 2006, but the victim was found in 2007. I count it in the 2006 stats. The NOPD has counted it both ways, as a 2007 murder and a 2006 murder.

Either way, whether a third uncounted murder exists or not, my numbers in this post for the 2nd quarter of 2007 are wrong. At least 2 should be added to the total.

This means, unfortunately, there was no downtick:
Jul-Aug-Sep 2006 – 53 murders
Oct-Nov-Dec 2006 – 52 murders
Jan-Feb-Mar 2007 – 48 murders
Apr-May-Jun 2007 – 49 murders (possibly one more)
I would also like to highlight some great keeping-it-in-perspective comments made by MAD in the previous post:
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".
I agree.

I responded by saying the point of my post is not to judge the relative safety of any given person in New Orleans, but rather to point out that “statistic anomaly” and use it to judge the effectiveness of the New Orleans criminal justice system. They know where the “Baghdads” of New Orleans are, yet are either powerless, incompetent, or uncaring enough to stop the murders there.

MAD made another good point to keep in mind while comparing New Orleans to other cities:
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.
I would still say that the murder rate for New Orleans lets us judge the effectiveness of the New Orleans criminal justice system. For murder rates, the parish boundaries are in no way artificial. Something is going on in New Orleans that is not happening in Jefferson, which is right next door and for a long time had two times the population after the storm.

But the local murder rate does not give an accurate assessment of the safety of the region.

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.”


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.


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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Felt Like I Needed to Link to This

From The Elements of Style:
Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Thank you, Mr. McGannon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A is for Audrey

The 1957 Atlantic hurricane season didn't have to wait until the letter "K" to be a disaster:
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of hurricane Audrey, a storm that tore apart Cameron parish. Up until hurricane Katrina, it was Louisiana's most notorious hurricane. Survivors of that storm will gather at the Cameron parish courthouse for a memorial Wednesday. We caught up with a Cameron parish man who was the only member of his family to survive.

"They had weathered hurricanes prior to '57, and what they did not understand was the surge. You see the surge is what killed the 500 plus or whatever people."
It just takes one hurricane. And it could be the first one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Picture I Would Like to See in the Slidell City Court

Actually, though I am a non-believer, religious iconography fascinates me. I struggled to find the exact image of the Slidell Jesus online - the position of his hand was different in the Slidell picture than any others I saw, or the book was closed, or there was no book. Finally, I found the icon for sale on this site, which has a description:
Christ is blessing with His right hand, His fingers formed into the shape of the Greek letters "IC XC", the Greek abbreviation for "Jesus Christ". His blessing hand is turned inward as if to remind us that He is the Great Blessing, granting us an opportunity to repent and inherit eternal life. He is holding a Book of the Gospels in His left arm. It is opened to the passages reading "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgement. (John 7:24) For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged." (Matthew 7:2)

Christ is traditionally shown with a short beard and long dark hair parted in the middle. His expression is serious, but not without mercy. Christ's outer robe is blue, to symbolize His humanity which he put on in His Incarnation, and His inner robe is red, to represent His divinity that He always was in eternity.

Christ Our God is the Saviour of all men who would be saved and who acknowledge their sinfulness, their need to be saved in truth by their own cooperation, and thus truly repent "for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
I hear there is a rally tonight on the the Slidell City Court steps. If you are a high school student in attendence, be careful what you say.