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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s city could be on its way to breaking crime records as violence rips through blue cities across the country.
She is the latest to follow the pattern of Democratic leadership set by mayors like New York’s Eric Adams, Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, Los Angeles’s Eric Garcetti and Washington, DC’s Muriel Bowser: lingering economic troubles from strict COVID policies, people homeless and rampant crime.
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Cantrell’s approval rating is 44%, according to a June 21 Faucheux Strategies and New Orleans Crime Coalition poll of 800 city residents with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
That’s nearly a 20-point slip in just one year from the same pollster.
Cantrell made history as Crescent City’s first female mayor, beginning her second term in January.
He has faced political and legal backlash over what many consider to be draconian COVID policies and his personal disregard for following them during the pandemic.
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Cantrell’s office, the Department of Parks and Greenways, the Tupac Amur Shakur Foundation and other groups promoted a “peace pole,” with the mayor in attendance for the opening ceremony on June 15.
“This afternoon, the City, through the Department of Parks and Greenways, in collaboration with the Tupac Amur Shakur Foundation, Tulane University and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, hosted a ribbon cutting of the newly installed Peace Pole to help foster peace in our communities. Cantrell tweeted.
“TASF sponsors various free services to the community related to mental health, physical health and general development,” added Cantrell.
Cantrell’s public unveiling of the pole in Louis Armstrong Park apparently did little to “foster peace” as his June 15 statement intended, as later that same afternoon, two people were injured in a nearby shooting.
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On June 17, Cantrell unveiled a two-story Afro sculpture called “All Power to All People.” This temporary downtown facility was praised by the mayor as “impressive.”
Raymond Arroyo of Fox News shared on “Ingraham’s Anglethat it is “impressive that someone could lose focus in this way and spend so much money while crime is so out of control.”
Cantrell announced a $7.2 million bond for public art in the city of New Orleans on June 17.
Meanwhile, New Orleans is on its way to becoming the “murder capital of the United States,” FOX8 Local First reported earlier that day.
In an exclusive interview with Laura Rodrigue of the Bayou Mama Bears, a local mothers’ advocacy group, she laid out Cantrell’s priorities.
“Art ranks last in terms of where money should be spent in New Orleans,” Rodrigue said. “People can’t even leave their homes to appreciate art without fear of violent death.”
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Homicides were up 155% during the week of June 21 over the same time in 2019, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission’s weekly bulletin, which cited calls for service from the city of New Orleans.
Homicides so far this year were 148, eight of which occurred during the week of June 14, the data showed.
Democratic City Councilman Eugene Green defended the mayor’s lack of press on the New Orleans homicides in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital.
“I mean, that’s almost a murder a day,” he said. “It’s hard to make a statement every day.”
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Vehicle thefts increased 191% during the week of June 27 compared to the same date in 2019, according to the weekly bulletin of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. Carjackings to date in New Orleans under Cantrell are at 154.
As rising crime plagues New Orleans, an apparent bathroom incident involving Cantrell at rapper Rob49’s June 18 concert at the Fillmore has dogged the mayor recently. Images from @ceedagreatt’s Instagram story appeared to show an altercation involving the mayor and at least two other unidentified women in front of a bathroom.
Cantrell’s new director of communications addressed the incident in a press release.
“Witnessing an altercation, the mayor acted in a way that she always implores our residents: if you see something, do something,” wrote Gregory Joseph.
At the same concert, further video was taken to show Cantrell alluding to the bathroom altercation while appearing onstage with rapper Rob49 at the concert.
In the video, Mayor Cantrell can be seen leaning into the microphone as she accepts an award, saying that while she was in the bathroom, she was “breaking something.”
She intended to defuse a situation involving a teenage girl in the bathroom at the rap concert. The city has a NOPD-enacted youth curfew for the summer.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, New Orleans native rapper Rob49 added that when he presented Cantrell with an award onstage, which his mother had specially commissioned for his concert, he didn’t know about the alleged bathroom altercation. .
“No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know. But I’m glad she stepped in and, like, prevented further damage or whatever was about to happen.” Yeah, I didn’t know anything about that, but that just shows you what she’s like.”
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This wouldn’t be the first time Cantrell has been publicly recorded in some sort of feud. Last fall, another video went viral of Cantrell standing up and yelling at a man in the Polo Club Lounge of the exclusive Windsor Court Hotel.
Supposedly, the mayor’s behavior was in response to criticism of her failure to call for a mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ida’s arrival.
Cantrell held a press conference on June 21 that addressed questions about the viral bathroom video, but did not have one in response to the shooting death of a 2-year-old boy on June 22.
Neither the mayor’s communications department nor her Twitter account have issued a statement in support of the Hollygrove family or community involved in the shooting. Cantrell departed for a taxpayer-funded trip to Ascona, Switzerland, in a “sister city initiative” on June 22.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Democratic New Orleans City Councilman Freddie King III said in response, “I would have done a press conference. Personally, I would have done a press conference.”.”
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This weekend’s Essence Festival will serve as a benchmark for the city’s post-COVID revelry and could backfire on public safety.
Fox News Digital reached out to his office for comment on the alleged bathroom fight at the Fillmore and subsequent public statements. Joseph refused to characterize the incident as an altercation or that the news conference referred to the bathroom encounter.
“However, it’s not an altercation and there was no press conference. How do you do it?” [sic] the press conference or the press briefing, about a dozen issues facing the city, and I think there was a question about his breakup with the fight.
“There are more questions about the 187 million gallon water tank in City Park than about his breaking up of the fight. So there wasn’t a press conference about, what you call, ‘the altercation,’ and there wasn’t really a altercation. Public safety is the number one priority for this administration, always has been and always will be.”
Cantrell has three years left in her final term as CEO of New Orleans.