VIDEO: Man grazed by bullet in French Quarter shooting; crime up by 45%
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The French Quarter Management District is asking for a budget increase as crime rises.
Year to date, City data shows crime incidents in the quarter are up 45 percent since last year.
A fed-up French Quarter bartender gave us the video below, of a fight that escalated to gunfire Tuesday morning, an occurrence she says is becoming too frequent.
Just before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, a fight hit the boiling point and a gun went off near the intersection of St. Louis and Bourbon.
The bartender who took the video says the man’s face was only grazed by the bullet and NOPD was not able to find a victim. Officers did find the suspect.
Keaton Johnson, 22, is now charged with a litany of drug and gun charges, including possession of a firearm by a felon.
“It’s terrifying sometimes,” Crossing Bartender, Urban Cook Jr. said. “Thankfully, I have a husband who walks me to and from work, so that that helps.”
“Twice now I’ve had to bear spray these people to keep them away from me,” Darkmoor Tours Owner, Kim Rivero said. “I hate being out after dark down here anymore because I don’t feel safe anymore.”
Rivero says they target her and her tour groups and Cook says it’s even dicey going to a morning shift.
“I’ve worked on this corner for about a little over 10 years now and it’s just it’s gotten progressively worse,” Cook said. “We pay for security out on the street, we pay for security at our door and it’s like nothing ever really gets done.”
“It’s getting bad,” Rivero said. ‘We need more police officers.”
The French Quarter Management District mentioned to the Council Thursday that non-post certified officers are needed because there aren’t enough NOPD for the supplemental patrols. They say response time has slowed to 24 minutes.
“The switch to the 12-hour shifts and had a big impact,” Executive Director of the FQMD, Karley Frankic said. “We’ve gone down to 35 percent of shifts filled and those are the times where we most need them, which is the weekends in the evenings.”
The FQMD is asking the council for $700,000 for extra lighting, license plate readers and real-time crime cameras to make up for the lack of police numbers.
“To give people the confidence that they can go to work and go home safely,” Frankic said.
The budget increase request now goes to the full Council for first reading.
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