Policing the police

 

Thanks to MaCCNO for posting this today. An extremely important piece!

 

“I witnessed numerous instances of private patrols harassing French Quarter street sellers, so the French Market Corporation and other businesses that paid into these patrols could monopolize the historic neighborhood’s tourist market. Once, I heard that a New Orleans police officer issued a ticket to a street poet selling custom-written poems to tourists. I looked up the incident and indeed, the officer issued the ticket. When I searched for body-worn camera video, I discovered that none existed. Upon further investigation, I learned that the officer—who was in uniform, performing a police patrol duty and not guarding a business—was detailed to a private patrol. He was neither issued a camera, nor required to videotape the encounter.

I searched records for other officers similarly detailed to privately operated police patrols and found numerous instances of them issuing tickets for “quality of life” crimes such as blocking sidewalks. These were thinly veiled attempts to remove homeless people and artisanal sellers from the Quarter, so they did not disturb tourists or divert business from its shops and “street markets” such as the French Market, an open-air market near the banks of the Mississippi River.”

My Year As A New Orleans Consent Decree Insider

The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MaCCNO) is a locally based non-profit that has worked at the intersection of culture, social justice and policy for the past 6 years. MaCCNO advocates on the behalf of the city’s musicians, culture bearers and performers. We collaborate with, organize, and empower the New Orleans music and cultural community to preserve and nurture the city’s culture, translating community vision into policy change, and creating positive economic impact.
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About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

One thought on “Policing the police

  1. Word Lady says:

    Unbelievable. I know of one of those street poets — just a writer making a fun living and giving the tourists exactly what they want.

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