In New Orleans, “Defund the Police” isn’t just a liberal battle cry; it is an actual political platform that Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell has run on, and it has even taken place as the City Council actually voted to “defund the police” back in April.
Thanks to that unprecedented vote, the city has struggled with its lowest police staffing level in modern history amid a crisis in officer morale.
All of this as violent crime surges in the city, which has been capped off by “NOLA” just earning the dubious honor of overtaking St. Louis as “the murder capital” of the US.
In the first six months of 2022, New Orleans recorded 41 murders per 100,000 population, a higher homicide rate than any other US city, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
By comparison, the first-half murder rate per 100,000 was 11.5 in Chicago, 4.8 in Los Angeles, and 2.4 in New York City.
Democrat-run New Orleans’s murder rate has long been a black mark on the popular tourist destination — but now it’s really off the charts. In New Orleans, the homicide rate has soared 141 percent compared with 2019, while shootings are up 100 percent, carjackings up 210 percent, and armed robberies up 25 percent, according to the city’s Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Many put the blame for the soaring crime rates square at the feet of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, a Democrat who was re-elected last year, accusing her of failing to be tough on crime.
New Orleans is facing a police staffing crisis, with the department under 1,000 cops for the first time in modern history, down from more than 1,300 a few years ago.
The city is losing about 100 officers a year to retirement and resignation, around 10 percent of the current force of 989, said City Council President Helena Moreno in July.
“You cannot operate a department that’s made for roughly 1,400 officers when it has less than a thousand,’ Moreno said at a city council meeting, according to WWL-TV.”
And yet, despite all of this, in the spring, the City Council voted to defund certain public departments, including some related to police and law enforcement.