Be Here Now

Dec 18, 2010 by

Some measure of justice did come out earlier this month with regards to the post-8/29/05 conduct of a few officers of the New Orleans Police Department, surprising some who thought all those indicted would walk from the shooting of Henry Glover and the burning of his corpse unscathed, their reprehensible actions chalked up to some vague, nebulous diagnosis of “madness after Katrina”.

Thing is, the past must serve as prologue…and I don’t see us being affected by that yet as a city. We’ve been down so long that trust is damned difficult to come by: fellow bloggers find themselves repeating the same ol’ same ol’ because how much has really changed? Sure, sure, we have to be patient and have faith, I know…but those alone don’t necessarily keep us safe.  Let’s look at what should be happening in one instance:

  • Home invasions are happening in the 7th and 9th wards: how do I know? A single email sent to a listserv I’m on from someone who got it from two sources: one who knows a victim, another who posted it on Facebook: EXTRA ALERT MARiGNY + BY WATER ATTENTION 2 ARMED doods raping people Forced entrys, abductions, shootings< Armed and cruzin Bandanas over their faces.

It’s horrible.  It supposedly happened six times in one night.  But, aside from this mention, there’s nothing on email blasts from the 5th District police.  The news is seemingly preoccupied with what is happening in the courtrooms.  And there is no mention from the alleged victim of even trying to establish a paper trail on the crime committed by reporting it to the 5th District.  We’re back to word of mouth – or, in this case, word of social media – to try to keep everybody either in the know or simply suspicious of anything or anyone that moves, and any sense of community we might be trying to rebuild erodes even further.

Who to blame, who to trust – sketchiness reigns.  The faults are many among everybody, because we can’t get past the past.  And, as a result, people get hurt in the here and now.

I urge those affected by recent crimes:  start the official paper trail first.  The 5th District sounds like it needs some serious attitude adjustments in community relations, and the best way to do that is to keep them on their toes by reporting the crime.  Repeated failures on their part in investigating the crime and keeping the community informed then need to have the mainstream media involved, because this could be happening all over the city.  Speak out, and keep tabs on your story, no matter how painful it may be.  You will be scared.  You will lose faith.  You will need to be patient.

And we all need to be careful out there.


Update: Jarvis DeBerry has one hell of a column today concerning the reporter who testified in the Glover case.  Yes, reporters needed to do their jobs, too…and they still do.

Another Update, 12/20: Lord David’s Open Letter to New Orleans is here.  SpotCrime, to their credit, wants to report the crimes in the 5th District, but where are those report numbers?

Also, check Mardi Claw’s comments below.

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