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Blog from New Orleans

Quite an interesting blog from someone weathering out the problems in New Orleans and giving a survivors day by day (and almost hour by hour) account of what's currently going on in the city.

One of the things I didn't know is that the New Orleans Police Department is apparently one of the most corrupt in the States (something mentioned in several places I've been to now) and there are quite a few reports of police looting.

Some of this can probably be put down to damage control (clearence of guns stores for instance) but when it comes to them looting grocery stores and/or hi-fi stores one has to wonder if it's for other more personal reasons.

Personally I'd leave the supermarkets for other locals to scavenge as much food as possible from, or set up a controlled allotment of food. I'd also be more concerned about finding survivors and helping get them out rather than making sure the Hi-Fi stores stock was safe. They have insurence for that (of would do if the insurence companies pay-up - if not there will no doubt be disaster relief funds willing to help businesses and home-owners in the area).

I'd love to think that people would pull together in a time like this. Most are which is great, but we are also seeing many holing up together in tactics and mindsets akin to 'Survivalists' which is kind of scarey. I think it's only a matter of time until people start shooting each other over there. Which is especially stupid when you consider that help is out there.

Edit - I have a slight feeling that his political views may be on the righter side of the 'America is great' spectrum though....

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
silver_blue
Sep. 1st, 2005 07:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, I tended to hear that about the NOPD as well. Although I'd tend to think that this is actually not much to do with corruption but just the way that some people can react in a chaotic situation.

Seems strange to be watching all this stuff having been to New Orleans twice in the last year.
angusabranson
Sep. 1st, 2005 07:41 am (UTC)
I was 'potentailly' due to go there next year for a big Goth do.

Somehow I don't think that'll be happening now though.

The only other time that I almost went to New Orleans was about 12/13 years ago with a German girl I knew who was trying to persuade me to go to the States with her for about a months tour, part of which she had scheduled an interview with author Anne Rice for a German paper.

I couldn't take the time off work and in any case I find German women generally a bit too scarey for little ol' me :p

Lovely girl though and I would have liked to have seen New Orleans in it's pre-storm glory. Another friend of mine was actually there about 10/14 days ago in her trek across America.
silver_blue
Sep. 1st, 2005 07:52 am (UTC)
As far as I can tell from reports, the French Quarter and surrounding area, has survived pretty much intact - being the oldest it's also built on the highest ground. Some of that area, and the garden district, is very picturesque.
lapinenoireuk
Sep. 1st, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
According to the Guardian
there's meant to be a useful / informative blog called "humid city" but that's all I have as yet. Otherwise there's references to blog reports in
"queen of cute", "katrinacane" and the Wizbang weblog.

More as I find them
angusabranson
Sep. 1st, 2005 10:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I read that last night. Not at all surprised and very much doubt the mass media in the States will pick up on it unless they really see the wind changing!
lapinenoireuk
Sep. 1st, 2005 11:31 am (UTC)
They don't seem to play their coppers enough it seems
Cops Looting New Orleans by Times-Picayune Staff writers

Law enforcement efforts to contain the emergency left by Katrina
slipped into chaos in parts of New Orleans Tuesday with some police
officers and firefighters joining looters in picking stores clean.

At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand
out provisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass
looting. Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the
giveaway was announced over the radio.

While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others
cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and
appliances on handtrucks.

Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one
New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer
and a 27-inchn flat-screen television. Officers claimed there was
nothing they could do to contain the anarchy, saying their radio
communications have broken down and they had no direction from
commanders.

"We don't have enough cops to stop it," an officer said. "A mass
riot would break out if you tried."

Inside the store, the scene alternated between celebration and
frightening bedlam. A shirtless man straddled a broken jewelry case,
yelling, "Free samples, free samples over here."

Another man rolled a mechanized pallet, stacked six feet high with
cases of vodka and whiskey. Perched atop the stack was a bewildered
toddler.

Throughout the store and parking lot, looters pushed carts and
loaded trucks and vans alongside officers. One man said police
directed him to Wal-Mart from Robert's Grocery, where a similar
scene was taking place. A crowd in the electronics section said one
officer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn't cut themselves.

"The police got all the best stuff. They're crookeder than us," one
man said.

Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of
law-breakers.

One veteran officer said, "It's like this everywhere in the city.
This tiny number of cops can't do anything about this. It's wide
open."

At least one officer tried futilely to control a looter through
shame.

"When they say take what you need, that doesn't mean an f-ing TV,"
the officer shouted to a looter. "This is a hurricane, not a free-
for-all."

Sandra Smith of Baton Rouge walked through the parking lot with a 12-
pack of Bud Light under each arm. "I came down here to get my
daughters," she said, "but I can't find them."

The scene turned so chaotic at times that entrances were blocked by
the press of people and shopping carts and traffic jams sprouted on
surrounding streets.

Some groups organized themselves into assembly lines to more
efficiently cart off goods.

Toni Williams, 25, packed her trunk with essential supplies, such as
food and water, but said mass looting disgusted and frightened her.

"I didn't feel safe. Some people are going overboard," she said.

Inside the store, one woman was stocking up on make-up. She said she
took comfort in watching police load up their own carts.

"It must be legal," she said. "The police are here taking stuff,
too."

(Staff writers Doug MacCash and Keith Spera assisted in this story.)

http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breakingtp/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-
Picayune/archives/2005_08.html#075195
angusabranson
Sep. 1st, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: They don't seem to play their coppers enough it seems
""The police got all the best stuff. They're crookeder than us," one
man said."

Gotta love that comment!
rockoctopus
Sep. 1st, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
One thing you have to remember is that New Orleans before the Hurricane was an extremely poor state. Also vast amount of the popullation were uneducated and homeless. I could hardly believe it when I was over two years ago.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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