Silence is Violence

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Public Safety Experiences

We have distilled experiences from our community on how they interact with their communites and the police inforcement in their area. We hope shedding light on individual stories will help us better understand our city and focus our actions into possitive change.


Date: Fri, Nov. 11, 2011 Yesterday my mother was at Walgreen's on Carrollton at noon during the Saints game and witnessed a theft. Two men with garbage bags were scooping shelves of Dove products into bags. She started to look at them and say something but the look she got back from one of the men led her to believe they were armed. She instinctively moved to another aisle. The two men walked out of the store having stolen garbage bags worth of items without being stopped. My mother immediately went to the store staff to report and to see about calling the police. The staff told her that they had been trained by Walgreens to let crimes go uninterrupted because the risk to their safety outweighs the benefit of intervention. They said calling N.O.P.D. did nothing--they had done it before. They said it took all day for the police to arrive and that they felt it accomplished nothing. Then as an example, they said earlier in the week they had had a customer who was unhappy being told to leave the store later return to the store and attempt to throw a brick at one of the employees. My mother then asked if she could call the police herself to report and she was convinced by the staff that the party of injury (in this case, Walgreen's) was the only one that could report.

So here are my thoughts--there are unreported crimes taking place in broad daylight in Carrollton's main drugstore. There is a widespread sense that the N.O.P.D. either does not help, or cannot help. I think when that kind of theft just happens and is viewed by a community as commonplace, it's only a matter of time before it escalates.

I am reporting second hand because my mother was very fearful after the incident. She didn't want to walk down Freret even, because she was impacted and felt very powerless earlier in the day. I know that on the scale of crimes being committed, this one probably falls towards the bottom of the list, but I do think it is an indicator of a disintegration in the fabric of our community that repeat crimes are happening in a public location and such is the sense of futility, that they are going unreported.