Friday, May 9, 2014

Mark Hertsgaard revisits the 2013 Mother's Day shootings in The Daily Beast

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Writer Mark Hertsgaard, who was in the crowd on May 12, 2013 when a gunman opened fire on the Original Big 7 Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s annual Mother’s Day second line, has written a piece for The Daily Beast in which he questions District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's choice to drop attempted murder charges in the case:

The dropping of the 20 attempted-murder charges only became apparent on March 11 with the unsealing of a new indictment that effectively transferred prosecution of the case from state to federal authorities. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has adopted the entirety of the case, including the Mother’s Day shooting,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman told reporters. “The decision was made to bring the entire prosecution under a single umbrella.”
Hertsgaard talked to Mayor Mitch Landrieu about the decision:
I can’t pretend to be perfectly objective about the Mother’s Day shootings or dropping the attempted-murder charges. Perhaps there are deeper issues at play here or more information still to emerge. But as a layperson, I have to wonder why the attempted-murder charges could not be included within the new federal charges. I asked Mayor Landrieau what message dropping the charges sends, not only to the residents of New Orleans but also to the many people across the country and around the world who love the city and want to keep visiting it.

“I hope this decision and the reduction of our murder rate sends a message to the world that we’re getting smarter about how we handle crime in New Orleans,” Landrieu said. “Anyone who commits a crime here, we’re going to get you, wherever you are.”
An interesting and thought-provoking piece as long as you stay out of the comments, which somehow manage to weave in President Barack Obama, the Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Syria and a number of completely unrelated topics near and dear to the hearts of online commenters. No mention yet of Benghazi or kale, but the day is young.

Hertsgaard wrote for Gambit last year on the subject of climate change and an appearance he made at LSU that was interrupted by fire alarms.

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