Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas faced tough questioning this afternoon from a skeptical City Council about how his well-publicized reforms are addressing the city’s homicide rate. The chief came armed with a sheaf of statistics to support his efforts, but council members were not receptive just two days after a bloody Halloween night in which gun violence killed two men and injured 14 people across the city, including a fatality in the French Quarter.
Saying she was confused by the facts at hand, a New Orleans judge today did not dismiss charges and set a trial date for two people accused of disturbing the peace at a raucous, unpermitted Eris parade in Faubourg Marigny during Carnival, which was broken up by Taser-firing police. Two of the 12 people charged in the melee have argued that the charge is vague — with eight possible actions that could fit — and wanted the District Attorney’s Office to make clear exactly what they did wrong.
Two defendants accused of disturbing the peace at an unpermitted parade in the Marigny have filed motions to quash charges against them because they say the state is being too vague about what they did wrong. Ron Morrison, 24, and Jonathan Cromwell, 30, filed the motions to quash this morning, following their arrest at the Eris Parade in March.
The New Orleans Police Department arrested 20,000 people needlessly on warrants last year at a cost to taxpayers of almost $2 million, said Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas at a City Council budget hearing this morning.