NOPD

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cantrell decides against hiring Warren Riley for top post in her administration

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 12:54 PM

Former New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Former New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell will not be hiring former New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley for a high-ranking position in her administration, Cantrell's office announced today.

In a statement, Cantrell said "Mr. Riley’s qualifications are undeniable," but "I have listened to the people of New Orleans on both sides, and I have decided not to move forward with his employment."
Riley had been considered for the position of Director of Homeland Security & Public Safety in Cantrell's new administration, and two sources close to the administration told Gambit that Cantrell was ready to name Riley to the job May 2 when she announced several other major appointments. In the hours before her announcement, though, she changed her mind and announced she was "pressing 'pause'" on Riley.

Had the appointment gone through, Riley would have overseen the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), the New Orleans Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Riley led NOPD after the Danziger Bridge shootings of 2015, and while he was not chief during the shootings themselves, he was in charge of the department during the coverup of the incident that left two dead and four wounded.

Update:

In a statement, Riley says he "learned this morning in a telephone conversation with Mayor LaToya Cantrell that she has rescinded her official appointment of me," which he says was imminent prior to Cantrell's announcement of a hiring "pause" — Riley says he "was preparing to return to City Government, having undergone employment administration processes, including security and background checks and a drug test."

Riley also says he was introduced to Cantrell's team as Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety and held a group session with law enforcement officials before a meeting with Cantrell 30 minutes before her press conference announcing roles in her administration. At that meeting, Riley says, Cantrell "informed me that she was putting a pause on my appointment."

Riley's statement also included an offer letter from Cantrell, dated April 22, offering Riley an annual salary of $180,000.

"Today's decision by Mayor Cantrell to reverse her initial decision and rescind my appointment is concerning on several levels," Riley said. "I am aware of the rumors and untruths being spread questioning my personal character and professional reputation."

Riley's statement also addresses the Danziger Bridge shootings and incident reports to "set the record straight."

Read Cantrell's statement and Riley's statement below.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Friday, May 11, 2018

Warren Riley: An existential threat to Mayor Cantrell

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 12:31 PM

Former New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Former New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley.

Nobody has a stronger survival instinct than a politician, so it’s surprising to see new Mayor LaToya Cantrell cling to an idea that threatens her political viability in an existential way. I’m talking about her refusal to abandon — publicly and unequivocally — the notion of hiring former New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley as her “director of homeland security and public safety.”

The title is a new one created by Cantrell. If it sounds like an amped-up police commissioner, well, that’s exactly how Cantrell describes it.

Which is what makes her continued talk of filling that position with Riley so surprising — and so dangerous to her own political survival.


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, May 4, 2018

Assessing Mitch Landrieu's legacy

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 1:32 PM

Mitch Landrieu. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Mitch Landrieu.

Like mayors before him, Mitch Landrieu worries about his legacy. It’s understandable. Mayors spend much of their time saying “no,” either because there’s never enough money to do all that’s asked or because some things are just bad ideas. Then, at the end of their tenures, they get criticized for all they couldn’t or didn’t do — and for things that didn’t go very well.

Perhaps hoping to get in front of the inevitable evaluations, Hizzoner made the rounds of local media in recent weeks asking for “exit interviews.” He passed out slick reports touting his accomplishments. Fair enough. It’s beyond dispute that Landrieu left the city in far better shape than he found it — on many levels — and he has every right to crow about that.

On the other hand, Landrieu cannot deny that he could (and should) have done some things better — though, like most politicians, he offers a ready litany of excuses and explanations.

Herewith my “performance review” of his tenure.

Continue reading »

Tags: ,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Mitch Landrieu: Gambit's exit interview

Posted By and on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 1:34 PM

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

After three tries, Mitch Landrieu won the New Orleans mayor’s office in 2010 by a landslide. It was a singular triumph for the then-lieutenant governor, coming one day before the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. Everywhere else in town, however, things were not going so well. After eight years under now-disgraced — and jailed — Mayor Ray Nagin, the city’s post-Katrina recovery stagnated and citizens as well as businesses seemed to lose confidence in New Orleans’ ability to bounce back.

Landrieu brought new energy and focus to the job, and billions of federal recovery dollars have changed the cityscape dramatically. Landrieu points to new recreation centers, new schools, new libraries, a new airport (set to open early next year) and new additions along the riverfront as examples of what may be the largest municipal recovery program in American history.

Equally important, Landrieu worked with the City Council to pull the city out of a $97 million operating deficit in his first year in office. Today, the city’s bond rating is the highest it’s ever been — and the budget has been balanced for seven straight years, with millions in a reserve fund. His administration also has been free of corruption scandals.

But not all went well for Landrieu. The city’s violent crime rate remains too high; his early belt-tightening came at a frighteningly high cost to police manpower; and a downpour last August 5 exposed incompetence, indifference and severe infrastructure deficiencies at the Sewerage and Water Board. If finishing on a high note is what matters, Landrieu’s legacy is tarnished by the S&WB debacle — which is probably why he (with a coterie of top aides and department heads) has gone to great lengths to seek “exit interviews” with local media.

Here is ours.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Louisiana Senate committee backs proposal to raise age for assault weapon purchases

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 1:40 PM

Students participating in the New Orleans March for Our Lives on March 24. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Students participating in the New Orleans March for Our Lives on March 24.

A bill to raise the age for purchasing assault weapons in Louisiana narrowly passed a state Senate committee April 3, after debate among legislators, gun rights advocates, teachers, students and law enforcement officials including New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison. It now heads to the full state Senate.

House Bill 274 would prevent people from under age 21 from purchasing so-called assault weapons, including guns with high-capacity magazines. It also would raise the penalties for unlawful sale to minors from $300 to $1,000.

Harrison argued the bill — introduced by state Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans — could decrease the number of so-called assault weapons used to commit mass shootings. Among the hundreds of murders and shootings in New Orleans since his became chief, Harrison said there hasn't been a single instance of someone using an assault weapon to defend themselves — but "a large percentage" of those shootings were committed by a person firing an assault weapon.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, February 24, 2018

With a smashed camera-shaped piñata, New Orleans immigrants and allies call on City Council to vote against surveillance ordinance

Posted By on Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 12:25 AM

Congress of Day Laborers and allies stood outside City Hall and smashed a camera-shaped pinata to protest a proposed surveillance network.
  • Congress of Day Laborers and allies stood outside City Hall and smashed a camera-shaped pinata to protest a proposed surveillance network.

A few steps away from the doors of New Orleans City Hall Feb. 24, children swatted at a large colorful pinata in the shape of a security camera, standing in for the proposed massive surveillance network that would give the city access to a live camera feed in the front of every business that sells alcohol. Surrounded by painted cardboard cameras mocking the newly installed cameras with red-and-blue flashing lights, the crowd took turns chanting "no mas cameras!"

Congress of Day Laborers with the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice fears that the camera network would criminalize immigrant communities put under a constant microscope if that data — streamed into the city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center — is shared with federal immigration enforcement.

"What we need is to invest in jobs, education and our streets," said Congress of Day Laborers organizer Chloe Sigal. "We don’t need to be pouring more resources into criminalization in our communities."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Slideshow: Strip club workers march in the French Quarter to protest raids on local clubs

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 12:50 AM

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

Hundreds of strip club workers and their allies marched in the French Quarter tonight in an "Unemployment March" to protest recent ATC and New Orleans Police Department raids on strip clubs, which shut down work for hundreds in the busy days before the Mardi Gras season.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Six French Quarter strip clubs settle with Louisiana ATC on eve of hearing

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 7:10 PM

Hours after strip-club workers held a demonstration in the French Quarter, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control announced it had settled with six of the eight strip clubs that were raided in January. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Hours after strip-club workers held a demonstration in the French Quarter, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control announced it had settled with six of the eight strip clubs that were raided in January.

Six of the French Quarter strip clubs that had emergency license suspensions in place after raids by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control (ATC) officials have agreed to settlements with the ATC on the night before they were supposed to have hearings with the regulatory agency.

"The hearings would determine whether the emergency suspensions served on the clubs were justified and, if so, what penalties were appropriate," the ATC said in a press release. "The settlement reached with the ATC negates the need for hearings for these clubs."


Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New York Times on New Orleans' proposed surveillance plan

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 3:55 PM

The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network.

The New York Times
took a look today at New Orleans City Hall's plan to install 1,500 surveillance cameras around town — acknowledging "typically vexing civil liberties issues" but seemingly more concerned that round-the-clock police surveillance of the streets will quash people's abilities to attend "boy-lesque" shows, carry potbellied pigs around town and "somehow suck the soul out of the place, quashing the promise of the Mardi Gras anthem 'Do Whatcha Wanna,' which serves as a siren song for tourists and a kind of mission statement for many residents":
Last fall, the city opened a Real Time Crime Monitoring Center, with a huge wall of screens showing video feeds of street scenes, in a building at the edge of the French Quarter.

A block away at the Black Penny, a tiny bar on North Rampart Street, grousing over the cameras was easy to find. “It’s going to be very clinical — it’s going to take the mystique, the romanticism out of the city,” said Alyx Gauthier, 27, a local service-industry worker who was nursing a pint on a recent afternoon. “This city was built by pirates and whores,” she said.
The Times also stopped at Oz, Cafe Lafitte in Exile and the Upper Ninth Ward to gauge the pulse of the populace. Give it a read.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

'We have bolt cutters': New Orleans officials begin Mardi Gras enforcement

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 3:40 PM

PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN

The Krewe of Chad’s days are numbered.

New Orleans’ Department of Parks and Parkways will begin “constant sweeps” rounding up and throwing away tarps, tents and other personal effects left on neutral grounds and green spaces more than 24 hours before parades begin. City workers will not be cataloging what they collect, only trashing them. Starting today, city workers have begun removing ladders along parade routes. Chained-up items and spray-painted or roped-off areas “mean nothing,” says Parks and Parkways Director Ann Macdonald.

“You’re creating a barrier. We have bolt cutters,” she said. “You can’t reserve a piece of public green space. That paint means absolutely nothing.”

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Submit an event Jump to date

Recent Comments

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation