Home / Hurricane Katrina: Violence in the Big Easy

Hurricane Katrina: Violence in the Big Easy

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Katrina has gone but in New Orleans a different storm, a storm of violence unleashed by the decay of community and control, has been raging through the submerged city. As more disturbing tales reach the news, I am reminded of Escape From New York, the John Carpenter film in which Manhattan has been walled in and declared a prison. Inside the walls, chaos reigned. Right now it looks like chaos is king of the Big Easy. Laissez les mauvais temps rouler…

From WWLT’s blog:

Managers at the Covenant Home nursing center were prepared to cope with power outages and supply shortages following Hurricane Katrina. They weren’t ready for looters. The nursing home lost its bus after the driver surrendered it to carjackers. Groups of people then drove by the center, shouting to residents, “Get out!”
On Wednesday, 80 residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.
“We had excellent plans. We had enough food for 10 days,” said Peggy Hoffman, the home’s executive director. “Now we’ll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot.”


National Guard troops in armored vehicles poured into New Orleans on Thursday to curb the growing lawlessness that included shots fired at helicopters airlifting people out of the Superdome and carjackings of buses helping with evacuations.

“We were told they are shooting at Chinook helicopters and the operation has been put on hold until daylight,” said Gloria Roemer.

Looters and armed gangs “are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas — hotels, hospitals and we’re going to stop it right now,” Nagin said.

Police were asking residents to give up any firearms before they evacuated neighborhoods because officers desperately needed the firepower: Some officers who had been stranded on the roof of a hotel said they were shot at.

From the BBC News:

A spokesman for the Louisiana ambulance service told the BBC the crowd had grown unruly and he was concerned for the safety of his staff.
He said a national guard had been shot, but he had not been seriously injured.

[Article cross-posted at The Errant Fool , here)] Ed/Pub:NB

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  • augrad

    I have been trying to wrap my brain around this all day while watching t.v. in total disgust. Can anybody provide insight as to why these people are behaving this way??

  • mother of 3

    can anybody provide any insight as to why their has only been images of the same few people taking tv’s but zero images of the so called lawless gangs running absolutely rampant in the city. It would seem like we would have some images. So far all I’ve seen is masses of desperately deprived and starving human beings so please make me believe that they are criminals.

  • Mike

    Well, I doubt reporters are exactly welcomed by armed gangs up to no good… I wouldn’t want to be around that situation and if I was involved I wouldn’t want someone “collecting evidence.”

  • franklin

    so check this out….you ask why are these people behaving this way?? they have been repressed by our so called democracy for many years and this is the chance they finally have to take the power back…bush obivously dosen’t give a f@#k about these people or else he would be there helping himself…or deploying troops instead of just flying over once in airforce1.. he just sits with his weasel grin and smiks at the price of gas…and how the cards just keep playing in his favor…our so-called “leaders” actions are a direct refelection of the way these small rebel gangs feel…and these actions are repressed feelings that have been haunting the south since the emancipation proclamation…. i am extremely disugusted and further embarassed with the way leadership is behaving towards this disaster..i am willing to bet that the people in less well-to-do neighborhoods are the last to receive any sort of help at all..just some thoughts

  • Mac

    Great. If you call looting, shooting and raping “taking the power back” then these people do not belong in this country. These “rebels” are just thugs taking advantage of the opportunity to break as many of our country’s laws as possible while satisfying their every violent whim and fantasy. If the feelings that were being “repressed” by these righteous southern rebels were strong desires to commit crimes and atrocities that would shock 99.9% of the world’s population, these feelings should remain repressed.

    Its disgusting that anyone would stick up for these criminals capitalizing on the nations worst natural disaster. Ughh, makes me sick.


  • franklin

    it makes me sick that you are so blind by the media..i knew that some little whiny white guy somewhere on here would say something just like that…never ceases to amaze me how suburban america reacts to the truth…what a shame…i truly feel sorry for you and everyone that has to breath air in your general vicinity…the ammount of bs you breathe in and out could choke a cow…

  • steve

    the seminoles who once inhabited Louisiana were by far more civilized than these animals in New Orleans.

  • lincoln

    so you’re telling me i can go out and steal, murder, and rape terrified teenage girls and victimize newly homeless and desperate people and blame it all on the Bush administration with no personal accountability whatsoever, and know i’ll have nincompoops with shit-for-brains such as “franklin” to back me up? brilliant!! that’s the attitude i’ve been waiting for. i guess i’m telling my wife Daddy’s goin’ out tonight, oh yeah!

  • lincoln

    by the way franklin, you’re full name wouldn’t happen to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jones by any chance would it? just curious. i knew a dirtbag, 2-bit pimp by that name once. just thought you might be him.

  • robert t atwood

    Natural disasters can bring out the best,and the worst in mankind. The violence in New Orleans is another example of the decline in western civilization. You can’t blame it on the poor. There are many poor people who acted as heros during and after the storm. You can’t blame it on race because the violence was targeted at all people. Our children are being brought up by television and music. The Tv and radio have become babysitters for families with working parents and in single family homes. At almost anytime you can turn on the TV and watch as much sex and violence as you can handle. Cable brings even more violent and sexually explicit material into the home. Much of todays music advocates violence and murder, the abuse of women. Video games offer the opportunity to dismember and kill in brilliant 3D action. In some video games you can shoot cops and innocent bystanders. You can connect to levels where violent sex and murder awaits. Our schools push children through who sometimes can’t read or write when they graduate. The lawlessness and violence in New Orleans is truely shocking. Gangs of teenage boys raping women just because they can. The senseless beatings and murders. Most of these criminals will blend in with the survivors and get out of New Orleans to spread across the country and settle in to continue their violence on other communities. It is hard to understand how the people could let a lot of this happen. In cases where there were armed groups it would be hard to help, however it was reported that many of the gangs were unarmed and should have been stopped by the crowds of people nearby. It is time to examine the youth in our communities and take action to educate them properly to value human life. This will happen again in other cites, in other states and we need to prepare now in order to protect our families and neighbors from violence and death. We also need a stronger legal system to deal with violent offenders regardless of their age.

  • Jewels

    This could happen in any city at any time in disaster circumstances. Bill O’Reilly had some good advice today, may be time to utilize our right to bear arms just to have protection in our homes. The criminals will have them, that’s for sure. Most of the bad looting and heinous crimes have been the result of the crazies and criminal elements being able to run wild in the chaos that has ensued.

  • Dale

    Franklin is a traitor and the dumbest breed of idiot that the african mentality can produce. much blame rests with liberal welfare policies, that encourage the overproduction of “these” people. Parenting skills in “these” communities are abhorant. it is not about poor. It is about a decayed character in “these” people, and exists where ever you go in the world. Birth control MUST become a condition of acceptance of any govt aid.

  • Okay, Dale, get yourself sterilized before you drive anywhere on public roads, burning up fuel sold at artificially low prices due to government protection of the petroleum industry.

  • mac


    I find it ironic that you should say this to me:

    “it makes me sick that you are so blind by the media..”

    The reason that it is ironic is because the media is pushing your case far stronger than mine. As a generally liberal organization, they would embrace your way of thinking, faulty and unsound as it is.

    It does not surprise me that you said this:

    “i knew that some little whiny white guy somewhere… {snip much of same}…the ammount of bs you breathe in and out could choke a cow…”

    Are you going to come and steal my TV and rape me now?

  • cynthia

    So, now we know that all the reported violence did not, in fact, occur. Why someone would fabricate such nonsense is beyond me,but, unfortunately Americans ate it up as usual. (Though, I’m proud to say, my husband said upon hearing it that there was no way it was happening – show him proof. He was equally as suspect at the Susan Smith case).

    As far as the Seminoles being more civilized than the evacuees in New Orleans, I’m sure they would say the real looters were the white men who came and took THEIR land. I guess it is just a matter of perspective….

  • 94% of murdered blackmen R murdered by blackmen. Everyday in the US over 100 whitewomen R raped or sexually assaulted by blackmen. In 2005 37,460 white females were raped sexually assaulted by blackmen while 0 to 10 black females were sexually assaulted or raped by whitemen. Blackmen account 4 19.2 percent of Pedophiles. 7 out of 10 blackchildren have never seen their father. 55 percent of US prison inmates R black. Blacks R only 13% of the population but account 4 over 50% of all violent crime

  • Charles Ogletree Jr lawyer representing Henry Louis Gates Jr the Harvard professor was a mentor of both Barack & Michelle Obama & served on the Presidents black advisory council. Harvard University professor Ogletree is closely linked 2 the Black Panthers & 2 radical black ideology. Gates is a Marxist critical theory identity politics racial bigot who disdains the European Western literary canon. Gates said black writing should be “evaluated by the aesthetic criteria of its culture of origin & that 2LiveCrew which he defended on an obscenity charge, R of literary value.

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