One recent report has indicated that the city of New Orleans has managed to handily overtake the city of St. Louis for the overtly grim title of U.S. murder capital for the first half of 2022.
New Orleans, which has been suffering extremely bad under low police staffing levels and morale, saw a spike up to 41 murders per 100,000 over the course of the first six months of this year, a massive 141% increase from the same rates in 2019, as reported by an analysis from the Wall Street Journal. The murder rate for this city is roughly four times that of Chicago and nearly 20 times more than the rate observed out in New York City.
“The criminals are more bolder and more brazen,” explained Shaun Ferguson, the New Orleans Police Superintendent, to one local outlet. “They do not believe they will face any consequences for their actions.”
The Journal took strides to break down the numbers handed out by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the city’s own Metropolitan Crime Commission. To go along with the increased rate of homicides, shootings have gone up by over 100% relative to the 2019 numbers; carjackings have gone up by roughly 210% and the number of armed robberies has gone up by over 25%, explained the data. The numbers from 2019 are being taken from the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Report.
I lived in NOLA for 3+ years in late 2010s through first six months of pandemic and never felt unsafe (uptown, garden district, central business district, French quarter, Marigny) at any time of day. Great city, nice people. Sad to read about this decline. https://t.co/8GVCUbzkWC
— The Rational Walk (@rationalwalk) September 17, 2022
Just last year, St. Louis was the murder capital of the country, with just over 61 murders per 100,000 for the entire year, as reported by a study published by Rochester Insitute of Technology. With New Orleans currently gunning to hit a total of 82 murders per 100,000, the city out of Louisiana will very easily overtake St. Louis at some point this year. Back in 2021, New Orleans only sat behind St. Louis, with a full-year rate of second-place rate of 56 murders per 100,000.
Despite the fact that New Orleans spends well over $570 per resident on its police budget, which is only second to New York City, but it is still plagued by issued with staffing, as reported by the Journal. The force has now fallen below the threshold of 1,000 officers for the first time in a few decades, and down by a third from where it sat at just over a few years ago.
LaToya Cantrell, the Mayor of the city of New Orleans, throws the blame at a consent decree set in place back in 2013 in the wake of quite a few racially charged police incidents that put the Justice Department in charge of the police department.