Killings Up in Central New Orleans Since CeaseFire; Optimism Remains


A little more than a year after the CeaseFire program was announced in New Orleans, the staff tasked with short-circuiting street violence through personal intervention had identified 40 conflicts that could result, or had already ended up, in bloodshed in an area of New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Of the 40 or so conflicts violence interrupters have tried to mediate, 23 diminished enough that CeaseFire was focusing on getting the people involved in those conflicts in contact with outreach workers. Despite the CeaseFire staff’s efforts, the number of killings and shootings in Central City has not been reduced. The number, in fact, has increased. Neither the staff nor the City of New Orleans, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to CeaseFire, is ready to declare the program a failure. Officials say CeaseFire has prevented retaliatory violence in numerous instances, and it has had a positive effect on people’s lives. “If you think about where Central City was, the hard and deep work that it’ll take to get it to a better place is something that we are actively engaged in with our conflict mediation and our case management,” said Johnetta Pressley, who oversees CeaseFire’s efforts.

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