At The Cost of a Life
It’s Sunday, a littleÂ past noon and I just got the call. Wendy, the bartender at Aunt Tiki’s on Lower Decatur, was shot and killed in an armed robbery at Governor Nichols and Dauphine Street last night, about 8pm.
This is above the ‘Bourbon Street Safety Line’ it’s true, but this neighborhood is where the dog park is, a residential area, a block or so from Cosimo’s. It was 8 o’clock on a Saturday night, a time when couples should be walking out to dinner, and locals are heading home from work, or out for the evening.
Apparently, Wendy walked up on a friend who was already being robbed at gun point, and was robbed as well, and then shot.
In the back.
She died shortly afterwards, on the way to, or at, the hospital.
While all of us who knew her, myself among them, are horrified at this terrible, terrible murder, it doesn’t end there. I’ve posted a series of columns here, triggered by Bill Sothern’sÂ editorial about getting robbed in the Marigny, relating how some young black kids with a small semi-automatic pistol robbed him and his wife and friends. Upon finding out the next day that the robbers were using his wife’s cell phone, he went to the police. He says in his post that;
Â ” I was barely able to hold the attention of the police officer at the desk as I explained the evidence that I had discovered and suggested that, so long as the phone was on, maybe they could even locate the user. She took a message but again, no one called me. I called again and again over the following days and left messages for the detective assigned to the case and even called the district lieutenant when those went unanswered. As of this writing, no one has called me to follow up on the calls made from the phone or, as far as I know, made any efforts to investigate the two potentially lethal armed robberies that occurred that night.”
Â When a friend of mine was robbed New Years Eve by junior thugs matching this description, I called for an outcryÂ to the NOPD, hoping to make them act before this went to much farther.
Wendy’s killers also match this same description.Â
There we have it. A direct link and patheticly sad story of inaction, followed by continued robbery and now the death of a young local woman. Had the 5th district jumped on the cell phone number and the number called, perhaps this would have led to an arrest, or at least left the perpatrators less bold, less likely to be drunk with horrible power and ready to kill.
There is no bringing Wendy back. Her life was ended brutally on an outing, relatively early on a Saturday night. She was robbed of every minute of every day, forever. They took all she had or ever would have, everything she would ever be.
The thought that this occured because somebody was too fucking lazy to do their job, too politically oriented to do real police work, too interested in “keeping the New Olreans Brand out there”, makes me so angry I can hardly control myself.
Warren Riley and C. Ray Nagin, you were warned. Bill Sothern told the city about this first incident with a story in the Times-picayune. I’ve been hammering away at Humid City, and sending letters to any newspaper or periodical that will listen. Now a local friend is dead, shot down in the street like an animal.
What’s it gonna take?
How many moreÂ New OlreaniansÂ will die this year, because some cop just had to take a call on their cell, or stand around the parking lot, showing off their new car stereo, because another citizen was treated like a criminal for trying to give the police some information or report a crime, because the Police Superintendent is on the board of so many quasi-political groups that he can’t or won’t do his fucking job?
I don’t want to see a news sound bite of Warren Riley in perfect make-up, talking about imperfect family problemsÂ and better education to prevent crime.Â Billy Sothern showed up at the Station House with a solid clue and was ignored. Now Wendy is dead.
I want to see Warren Riley’sÂ resignation, I suppose, and it would be nice to go out for coffee and ice cream after dark without worrying about getting fucking killed, but mostly, I’m sure Wendy’s friends and relatives would like her to be around for Sunday Brunch.
She won’t, however, because she’s dead.
You let this happen, you rotten sons of bitches.
We’ve seen your absolute failure in absolute clarity, and at the cost of a life.
There’s nothing more to say, right now.
And besides, we’ll be mourning the Death of Another Friend.
Rest in Peace, Wendy.
And I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that some stupid, lazy bastards let this happen.
You are not forgotten.