NOPD and Louisiana State Police Highlight Summer Crime Pact Results, Dismissing Criticism | Crime / Police
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson on Thursday touted what he described as stellar results from the latest crime-fighting venture between the NOPD and Louisiana State Police in difficulty during the summer.
Ferguson has counted 90 arrests, dozens of weapons seized and four federal indictments which he says have resulted so far from “Operation Golden Eagle” in his three months, while downplaying concerns raised by the criticism of the work of a partnership of agencies which police under different rules. and surveillance.
Ferguson, flanked by State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis, at a press conference also attended by representatives of the FBI and DEA, provided few details on the nature of the work of the state police in the city or the number of soldiers involved. Ferguson said the arrests and charges were for a variety of gun and drug crimes.
Davis said the LSP’s assistance included intelligence and “air support” in addition to soldiers on the streets.
Amid an outbreak of violence in May, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that state soldiers would return to the city to fight crime alongside NOPD officers. Unlike previous agreements between the agencies, which focused on the French Quarter – and sparked controversy – the new effort targeted violent crime hotspots outside the city’s tourist hub.
“I am proud to say today that the operation was a success for the city of New Orleans,” said Ferguson. He said the city started the summer with an average of more than 80 violent crimes per week. That average fell to just over 50 per week, he said.
“Our partnership doesn’t just cover special events,” added Davis, noting LSP’s frequent presence in the city for Mardi Gras and other big draws. “We are now expanding to those criminal elements so that we can serve as a force multiplier for New Orleans and really help them reduce violent crime.”
The expanded role of the LSP has been greeted with concern by critics of previous invitations to team up with the NOPD to patrol the city streets. Foot patrols by soldiers in the French Quarter have been the subject of a debate for years over whether their tactics are too heavy-handed, including a racial profiling lawsuit involving a black tourist from Indiana who turned ended with a settlement in 2018.
Concerns have only grown this year as LSP has sunk deep into the scandal of brutal actions by soldiers in the northeastern corner of the state, triggering a series of federal civil rights investigations and civilians. large-scale cover-up allegations.
Cantrell announced the summer partnership just as State Police attacked videos recently released by The Associated Press showing soldiers in the Monroe area beating and hitting unarmed motorist Ronald Greene in May. 2019. Greene died during the meeting. Some have called on the US Department of Justice to launch a broad civil rights review of the LSP, like the review that sparked the NOPD reforms a decade ago.
Today, state soldiers fall outside the federal oversight that has guided the NOPD for the past nine years. Soldiers, for example, may engage in car chases around the city that would not comply with NOPD policies.
In August, soldiers chased a man without a license plate and a baby riding without a buckle in the front seat, in a chase that ended in a violent accident at Lakeview. NOPD officers are prohibited from pursuing motorists not suspected of violence.
LSP “has its policies for its business, and we have ours,” Ferguson said Thursday. “So we have no concerns.”
Danny Engelberg, head of trials for Orléans public defenders, said his agency had concerns and was monitoring the summer operation.
“Apparently it’s about promoting public safety, but we’ve seen a lot of things that have ended up making the community less safe and more dangerous, especially with car chases,” Engelberg said. In some cases, the only arrests produced were for resistance or flight, he added.
In an online “accountability forum” on July 8, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams acknowledged the concerns and said his office would report cases of the operation for review. special.