New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu lamented a violent weekend in the city that made Saturday the record-setting day for shootings so far this year. Landrieu spoke with Police Superintendent Michael Harrison, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. “We’re going to have to change who we are, how we are and how we act,” Landrieu said. Three people were shot dead and 10 people wounded by gunfire in five separate shootings on Saturday. As of Sunday morning, more than 300 people have been killed or wounded by gunfire in New Orleans, a rate of roughly two people a day.
Landrieu pointed to “the root cause” fueling violence in the city as access to drugs and alcohol, as well as a lack of reporting by witnesses to violent crimes. “In this age of social media, it’s impossible to believe there are no witnesses to these crimes,” he said. “No matter how hard these men and women [in the police department] work, they cannot do their jobs if they do not come forward.” Harrison pledged that his department would commit more resources and an “increased presence” in certain areas of the city. He said the department has cancelled all “non-mandatory training” to max out the force’s ability to investigate recent crimes. “Our officers will not be deterred,” Harrison said. “We remain committed to getting these violent criminals off the streets and ending the violence and death.”