A Letter to the Editor:

A consent decree is an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties. Well, we have a major dispute happening in our city right now. It’s between law-abiding citizens and the people who want to rob, kill, carjack, rape, beat, abuse, and hurt innocent people. My question is can we have a consent decree for criminals? Can we make them sign a federal, state or local agreement where they agree to:

1. Do Not shoot or kill us while they’re shooting at each other
2. Do Not carjack our mothers, wives, daughters, or the elderly while they’re trying to get gas or make groceries. (It’s what we say in New Orleans).

3. Do Not shoot the woman and child if the man is the one you’re really looking for and the one who harmed you and your gang.

4. Do Not shoot up a car unless you’re sure the one you’re looking for is driving (not like the shooting that took the life of an innocent young woman and shot up my niece. She landed in a trauma unit for several months because they couldn’t see in the car. It had illegal dark windows with no brake tags and no license plate and they shot it up 57 times).

Can’t we have constitutional criminals like we have constitutional policing? Look before you start raining on me with a hail of bullet-like words, know that I’m for constitutional policing. I despise rogue cops who prey on innocent people just because of the color of our skin or where we live. But shouldn’t we also despise the pain that our mothers, grandparents, and innocent children are going through because we have people who want to prey on them? We seem to live in a society now where the rules only seem to apply to people who want to follow the rules.

Can we please have a killer, rapist, robber, carjacker, molester convention where federal authorities lay out the rules to them so they’ll know to what degree they can prey on us while we pray for each other? Wouldn’t it be nice if they knew there was a certain degree of carjacking? And that you shouldn’t carjack us while we are in the car? Or drag us while a limb was stuck in the car? Wouldn’t it be nice if they were told they could only shoot at each other if our grandparents and children are not around? Or should we have designated “OK Corral,” areas that citizens and killers are made aware of?

How about the Constitutional Criminal Consent Decree that highlights, no killings or shootings at drug stores because our grandparents and maybe even yours may be picking up their medicine? We just want to live, work, and play. We simply want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. So, to you Mr. Big Government and the people who make all the federal rules, it is time to decide and admit it if you can’t protect us. At least let them know how much they can hurt us before the rules start to apply to them.

Councilmember Oliver M. Thomas

District E, Chair of Criminal Justice Committee

4 thoughts on “A Consent Decree for Criminals”
  1. I agree with O.T. my blood that we need to get crime under control. People are deemed criminals because they violate society’s rules of order and decency and continue to do so. They have no regard for human life and/or the property and possessions of others. I can’t imagine a consent decree that would allow criminals to commit crime if certain conditions are met. Any officer who has spent time in the trenches of fighting street crime will tell you the solution is “boots on the ground.” You wouldn’t ask the New Orleans Saints to take the field against any opponent with only five players to their opponent’s eleven. Street crime is preventable but only by heightened police visibility and a crime reduction strategy. In the late nineties we achieved 1720 officers strong in the NOPD to fight crime during an era we believed was the worst of times. The murder rate was cut in half as well as all other major crimes. We this strength, community policing was very effective, which is the essence of crime prevention. Through proactive patrols, special task force-street crime reduction strategies and community support, we delt a serious blow to the criminal community and took our streets back. For example; on the 2nd shift in the 5th police district which services the upper and lower 9th ward, we had 30 officers, and I was one of six supervisors on duty. We brought an end to call backlogs and code-2-priority calls that go largely unanswered today. The proactive crime reduction strategies were in full force, and the community felt safe again. Our approach needs to be practical, get the numbers up and with the community’s help, take our streets back.

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