Silence Is Violence

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week (Event Calendar)

Press Release July 13: Eddie Jordan

Date: Sun, Jul. 15, 2007

July 13, 2007

A statement regarding recent news surrounding the District Attorney:

Two days ago, we sent an open letter to Mayor Nagin letting him know that our organization is not satisfied with his lack of voice and action in the realm of violent crime in New Orleans. A matter of hours later, the Mayor responded by speaking out on the dismissal of the murder case against Michael Anderson, accused of killing Arsenio Hunter, Warren Simeon, Iruan Taylor, Marquis Hunter, and Reggie Dantzler. This was the first appearance the Mayor has made specifically to address violent crime since February 15, when he appeared at the scene of the Kentucky Street murders of Damon and Ivan Brooks. We were relieved to hear the Mayor finally addressing our safety in a direct manner.

The Mayor chose to direct his comments against District Attorney Eddie Jordan and the recurrent dismissal of murder cases by the DAís office. The violent crime problems plaguing our city do not stop with the DAís office. The crisis in public safety is a pervasive and complex one for which every level of our government must take responsibility. Yet it is also clear that District Attorney Eddie Jordan is unable to perform the minimum duties required by his position and that he should be replaced by a more competent prosecutor and manager as soon as possible.

There are several ways in which this replacement could be achieved. A recall would be numerically challenging and protracted. An investigation into Mr. Jordanís performance may be necessary, but the public deserves a more immediate action to insure a functional criminal justice system. His resignation or his removal by legal means, two options being entertained by our City Council, seem like logical courses of action.

Throughout this past week, we have continued to hear from New Orleanians who have suffered not only the loss of loved ones but also the double cruelty of seeing their cases dismissed and the accused sent onto the streets. Others are fearful that their cases may not even make it to court. We are remaining in close contact with these survivors as the will to take action against Mr. Jordan accumulates, and we will support them as they seek to make their frustrations public.

We need decisive action on all fronts on behalf of victims, families, and the entire community. We have invited Mayor Nagin to address young New Orleanians next Tuesday evening at our regular Youth Music Clinic. We have heard his disapproval of the performance of others. Now we are ready to hear what he himself plans to do to secure a safer city.

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