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There Should Be No Such Thing As A Mother’s Day Shooting

Submitted by on May 15, 2013 – 9:41 amNo Comment

The city of New Orleans, known for its culture, live music, and legendary parades is also known for one more thing: senseless violence. In fact, frequent visitors or temporarily-local students are quick to describe the 504 as “like a third-world country.” Having lived there for a little under a year, I can say that I really do love the place, but some things have got to change.

During an informal Mother’s Day parade, two or three individuals opened fire on a crowd of about 200 people on the corner of Frenchmen and Villere Street. The shooting has been captured on video surveillance and released to the public.

Police have described this as “an extremely unusual occurrence.” This is in direct contrast to a quote in USA Today from a local who attended the parade in which 19 were wounded, including two children.

“Me and mom were going to the second line. I told her I didn’t want to go because there are always shots at a second line.”

If you peruse the video and news sites for comments, you’ll see quite a few that ask why. Why do these people continue to allow this in their town? Why won’t they step up and identify those responsible?

Another question that hasn’t been asked is if shots are typically fired at second-line parades, why aren’t the police doing more about it? Is this one special because of where it fell on the calendar?

The fact is, there’s a long history of police brutality and corruption – and resulting mistrust of law enforcement – in the city, which must be addressed if crime can ever be reported and/or stopped in the city. Beyond that, many have come to accept that gun violence is part of living in the Crescent City, a bitter defeat in and of itself.

New Orleans police have identified the primary suspect in the shooting as 19 year-old Akein Scott, and are asking for help from anyone who may know of his whereabouts.

Make no mistake about it. Firing into a crowd with no regard for human life on the day set aside to celebrate the women who give us life is stupid, cowardly, and reeks of the worst of humanity. It could have resulted in the tragic loss of life on a most special occasion.

However, the wounds in this city run much deeper than those suffered on Mother’s Day, and will take much longer to heal.

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