With the capture of two suspects in a Mother's Day parade shooting, New Orleans become the second city this year after Boston to endure episodes of large-scale street violence allegedly initiated by brothers, a massive law-enforcement manhunt, and the capture of the wanted individuals, says the Christian Science Monitor. At least two shooters, identified as Akein and Shawn Scott, attempted what even hardened criminologists called the unspeakable: a gang hit on a street full of paradegoers a few blocks from the French Quarter. Of 20 people hurt, seven were women and two were children.
The long-suffering New Orleans Police Department helped turn the emotional response around by tracking the alleged shooters down. It appears to be an example of a dramatic shift in gang-war policing that the city has made. “In this case, Police Department intelligence is way better than what it used to be,” says Dee Wood Harper, a criminologist at Loyola University New Orleans. New Orleans has dramatically shifted its priorities away from low-level shakedowns of street dealers, a popular practice among police but one that can alienate neighborhoods. Instead, it's building deeper cases against members of the most violent groups, the people posing the greatest threat to their neighbors.