It probably didn’t shock Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu Thursday night when the residents of New Orleans told him and his transition task force on the NOPD that they want a police superintendent who has such rare qualities as “integrity,” “a background in diversity,” and “a successful track record.”
It was likewise probably not too surprising when the residents who came out Thursday night for a task force meeting at the Superdome suggested that the new police chief should make officers leave their squad car to walk their beats and absolutely demand basic courtesy from officers toward residents.
Even assertions by speakers that should, in a civil society, be more bombast than literal, such as those indicating the police department was guilty of “terror,” as Malcolm Suber indicated or “rotten to its core,” as ACLU director Marjorie Esman asserted, represented the sad consensus opinion of most attendees. The equating of policing to terrorizing raised not an eyebrow from task force members.
It should have. Or at least in an ideal world. That such simple ideas, which speak as much to human decency as a competent police force, had to be reiterated by residents speaks to the depths of the ditch in which the NOPD currently finds itself.