New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley didn’t dispute the CQ Press study calling New Orleans the most violent city in the country, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. With more than 19,000 crime incidents last year, New Orleans ranked ahead of Camden, N.J. and Detroit. Editors of the ranking included a note about New Orleans, highlighting the city’s dramatic changes in population after Hurricane Katrina.
Riley seemed to suggest in a news conference that the citys crime problem is endemic — and thus perhaps impossible to correct. “In the 1870s, New Orleans was considered, in the riverboat gambling days, one of the most violent cities in the country,” he said. “Is it the water in the Mississippi? I don’t know what it is. But we certainly have some problems. So does every urban city.” Riley laid blame with poverty and poor schooling, saying these societal ills have allowed crime to fester.