Five years after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the city still is suffering from the aftermath of the police department’s unraveling after the storm, says National Public Radio. The perceived impunity of police from local prosecutions for wrongdoing, and a persistent murder rate that remains more than eight times the national average have led to five years of increasing mistrust in New Orleans police.
Federal prosecutors have come to town and are looking into as many as eight unresolved police cases; Eighteen officers have been indicted. New Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked the federal officials to stay on and help clean up the department. “The level of danger on the streets of New Orleans – the number of murders – is unnatural. We have to find an answer to it, and we’re going to work really hard to see if we can,” he says. Landrieu also hired a new police chief – Ronal Serpas. “We are going to make a difference, we are going to turn this police department around. We are going to make New Orleans safer,” Serpas says.