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New Orleans Cops Ordered to Stop Looters


— November 30, -0001

From the AP via the New York Times:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile as the city plunges deeper into chaos.

“They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas — hotels, hospitals, and we’re going to stop it right now,” Nagin said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The number of officers called off the search-and-rescue mission amounts to virtually the entire police force in New Orleans.

It gets worse:


From the AP via the New York Times:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile as the city plunges deeper into chaos.

“They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas — hotels, hospitals, and we’re going to stop it right now,” Nagin said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The number of officers called off the search-and-rescue mission amounts to virtually the entire police force in New Orleans.

It gets worse:
From Anya Kamenetz of The Village Voice:

The city of New Orleans has a 34 percent poverty rate, triple the national average. It’s about 70 percent black. White flight, first to Jefferson Parish and then across Lake Pontchartrain, to the North Shore, has accomplished the desired aim of de facto segregation in the public schools, which are 93 percent black in Orleans Parish and some of the worst in the country. . . .

[K]nowing this, and that many of the neighborhoods destroyed were the poorest in the city, provides a little context for such incidents as Tuesday’s riot in the Wal-Mart parking lot, where even the cops were spotted lifting some electronics. Elsewhere, a looter shot a police officer in the head today, critically wounding him.

This stuff is bad and it’s only going to get worse. To belabor the obvious, a lot of the people who stayed did so because they didn’t have the money to leave. An estimated hundred thousand had no cars. Many didn’t have jobs in the first place, and now they don’t have homes, and there’s plenty of stored-up resentment to go around.

I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans, but never have. Now I wonder if I there will be anything left to visit.

You can help. Dontate to the Red Cross right now. Or here’s a list of other organizations you can donate to. The press is reporting that this may be the worst natural disaster to hit the U.S. since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. That means it’s pretty bad.

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