The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 17, 2013

Arrests in New Orleans parade shootings cheered

(Continued)

"We all came back here to make it clear that the culture of death and violence on the streets of New Orleans is unnatural, it's unacceptable, and the people of New Orleans have had enough," Landrieu said.

He credited tips from citizens to the Crimestoppers organization, which contributed to a $10,000 reward in the case, with helping lead to the arrests. He also said the arrests are proof that cooperation among police, the district attorney and federal law enforcement agencies — U.S. marshals helped in the arrest — is paying off. He pointed to last week's indictment of 15 people on gang-related charges including the killing of a 5-year-old girl hit when gunfire broke out during an outdoor birthday party last May.

Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, an independent watchdog group, said it appears there is better cooperation and coordination between police and the district attorney's office in recent years. He credits Cannizzaro, elected district attorney in 2008; Landrieu, elected mayor in 2010; and Serpas, picked to head the police department by Landrieu.

"The police department and the DA's office were basically silo operations as opposed to partners," in years past, Goyeneche said.

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