Last Tuesday, Nov. 22, when the city's 2011 homicide tally was merely very close to, and not yet above, 175, the total for all of last year, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas unveiled a new murder reduction initiative at a press conference at Gallier Hall.
The murder number wasn't Serpas' only PR problem that afternoon. On Nov. 21, Fox 8 aired an investigative report that brought to light a number of apparent inconsistencies in Serpas' pension paperwork he signed upon taking the superintendent job in May 2010.
Local NAACP chapter head Danatus King — who resigned from Landrieu's police chief search committee in 2010 citing a lack of transparency from the incoming Landrieu administration — tried to attend the Gallier Hall event in order to publicly address the report. But King was denied access.
Now a group called the United New Orleans Front plans to hold a press conference outside City Hall tomorrow afternoon to "respond to the blatant denial and the racial divisiveness shown these groups attempting to enter Gallier Hall."
(Full press release after the jump)
The press release claims participation from a number of groups, including the NAACP.
Gambit's phone calls to the local NAACP office for confirmation were not immediately returned. King has confirmed via email that the local chapter of the NAACP will participate. United New Orleans Front has invited all of City Council, several state legislators and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond to the event.
***************** For Immediate Release ********************
The United New Orleans Front, composed of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Community United for Change, Safe Streets Strong Communities, Love and Power Outreach Ministries, Vote, Coalition to Free the Anglo Three, Righteous Cause, Louisiana Justice Institute, and several other community based organization, will hold a Press Conference beginning at 12:30 PM Thursday December 1, 2011 in front of City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, to respond to the blatant denial and the racial divisiveness shown these groups attempting to enter Gallier Hall Tuesday November 22, at a Public Meeting called by Mayor Landrieu to discuss the crime and murder rate in New Orleans.
Additionally, the group will outline the actions the community has taken to address the apparent position the Mayor and the Police Chief, Ronal Serpas, assumes by placing themselves above the law regarding the appointment of Ronal Serpas as Police Chief and the questionable behaviors surrounding the pension eligibility.
The group will be available for questions after the statements are announced. Printed copies of the statements will be available at the conclusion of the Press Conference.
For additional information, contact W.C. Johnson 504-251-2201