The 2007 murder total climbed Monday to eight killings in New Orleans, an average of one per day, as city leaders and residents grappled with how to stem the wave of violence, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Over the weekend, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley floated the idea of a citywide curfew to help police control the streets. A juvenile curfew is in place, started in June after a slew of murders, including a quintuple killing. Yesterday, Riley spoke more tentatively about the idea, saying it was in the discussion phase and that input was needed from a variety of groups, such as business leaders and community organizations.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ray Nagin and the City Council were readying their own crime-fighting initiatives, with an announcement expected today. Police say the murders are linked to the bustling drug trade in certain neighborhoods, with dealers and users alike most often the targets of street violence. Two recent murders, however, have claimed a drummer who was a mistaken target and an animator-filmmaker. At the core of the city’s fragility is its seeming inability to lower the per-capita murder rate, even though the somewhat-depleted police ranks have been supplemented for months by the Louisiana National Guard and State Police.