Just before 3:00 a.m. on August 8, an off-duty NOPD officer was allegedly attacked and robbed outside the St. Louis Market off Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter.
4WWL reported that an off-duty officer, 23, pedaled his bike past a large group of people outside the St. Louis Market. Security footage shows the officer speaking to persons in the crowd while still mobile. One suspect is said to have demanded the officer's bike. When the officer refused to comply, a struggle broke out.
Several young men can be seen attacking the officer within minutes of the initial interaction.
The officer regained his footing after being hurled to the ground and, at the top of the hour, allegedly swung back at his aggressors. Peripheral fights then allegedly broke out, engulfing the officer.
In the melee, the officer's personal handgun was reported stolen.
By 3:05 a.m., NOPD arrived at the scene and arrested a 16-year-old suspect. The suspect was reportedly later booked into the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center on charges of second-degree battery and simple robbery.
The officer's name has not been released because victims' names are not publicized in criminal incidents.
Local business owner Haytham Hamed, general manager of Vieux Carre Pizza, told KSLA that similar groupings of violent young men have prompted him to close his establishment early as well as to consider changing careers. "Crime is high ... It's like we are in a war."
Violent crime is on the rise in New Orleans. The city is rated a 2 on Neighborhood Scout's crime index (100 is safest), with a property crime rate of 47.13 and a violent crime rate of 13.6 per 1,000 residents.
There were 218 murders in 2021. 145 homicides had already been reported by June 30 of this year, setting the city on its way to having a homicide rate of 77 per 100,000 — one of the highest murder rates in the world, on par with gang hot spots in Honduras and Mexico. Chicago, by way of comparison, sees 18.26 murders per 100,000 population.
According to City Journal, this correlates with Soros-backed District Attorney Jason Williams' "more selective" approach to prosecuting violent offenders. The felony conviction rate dropped from 57% in 2019 to 21% in 2021, the year that Williams — under indictment for tax fraud — took office. Nearly 20% of the felony cases dismissed were violent crimes.
After being sworn in, Williams claimed: "Being more selective about prosecutions will allow us to focus on the crimes that matter most to all of us."