Skip to comments.Police Chief: 'Urban Warfare' Slowed New Orleans Rescue
Posted on 09/03/2005 8:04:59 AM PDT by Carl/NewsMax
New Orleans Police Chief Edwin Compass said Friday that hurricane rescue efforts were hampered when relief workers came under attack by the city's criminal element, prompting conditions that resembled "urban warfare."
"We have never had an urban warfare battle like this on any front in the history of our nation," Compass told NBC's "Dateline."
"You're fighting in buildings that are pitch black with darkness. These individuals have root - the criminal element have looted all the gun shops and gun stores in this city, so they're armed, they're dangerous."
Federal Emergency Management Agency Chief Michael Brown, under fire for his agency's slow response, echoed Chief Compass's complaint, telling CNN: "We are working under conditions of urban warfare."
Though the city's crime rate is ten times the national average, U.S. news outlets downplayed the connection between New Orleans' outsized criminal element and delays in rescue efforts.
Saturday's London Times, however, painted a bleak picture of the challenges faced by local police as they tried to restore order.
"One New Orleans police officer wept as he described seeing bodies riddled with bullets, and the top of one man's head shot off. He said some looters were armed with AK-47 rifles, and compared the situation with Somalia, with police outnumbered and outgunned by gangs in trucks . . .
"An effort to remove patients and staff from Charity Hospital, in the city centre, was suspended after it came under sniper fire . . .
"'It's a war-zone, and they're not treating it like one,' he said, referring to the federal government . . . Gunmen continued to fire on troops and rescue helicopters, and police officials said that many officers had stopped reporting for duty, cutting manpower by 20 per cent."
The mayor and governor were unprepared, not competent to handle this crisis. If the Pres. hadn't called the governor to tell her to issue a mandatory evacuation, she wouldn't, and it's unimaginable what would have happened.
The chaos and increase in sufferring was exaccerbated by no one taking charge. A total lack of leadership at the state and local levels.
Where I see the Feds and White House being blamed, is for not recognizing soon enough that New Orleans had no leadership. I understand the Feds not wanting to usurp the power or authority of local gov't. But they needed to assign someone to go to Louisiana and hold that mayor's hand and guide him thru what he needed to do and say. On- the-job leadership training. Someone needed to get that mayor out there on a bullhorn calming, encouraging, directing and inspiring his citizens.
Once the White House realized that the Mayor was not only not helping the situation but adding to the problems with his hysteria, they finally took complete control.
In the future, the Feds need to assess quickly who they're dealing with, and whether that city or state official is capable of responding to the crisis or not. Getting someone into the locale to accompany & advise the local official seems crucial to establishing the best possible outcome after a disaster.
You are absolutely right, my dear, and what I'm concerned about is that in the midst of a frenetic, hurried relocation effort, a lot of the vermin could slip through the cracks.
I see a lot of problems ahead.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
"I see a lot of problems ahead.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong."
I hope you are wrong too - but I don't think you are.
There will be frustration in these communities that are taking in evacuees in a month or two - and it will be understandable. The vermin will come out.
I agree, but this certainly isn't the first time an incompetent local official has been allowed to hold off the Feds. Remember the dread Chief Moose? A number of people died because he was allowed to diddle along being incompetent (and biased, since he knew perfectly well from the police reports that it was not a white suspect they were looking for). Everything should have been taken out of his hands - but it wasn't.
That said, I don't know what kind of laws exist that permit Federal intervention in cases of incompetence. In the case of Blanco and Nagin, I'd say it was even close to dereliction of duty. But can the Feds really intervene, without having to do something maybe a tad excessive, such as declaring war on the state of LA?
Speaking as someone who lived through the L.A. riots, they're the same criminals and gangs that perpetrate crime everyday in N.O. They just had a little territorial field day in the absence of law enforcement, and the opportunity to give free-reign to their base intentions.
When soliers and LEOs start showing-up in numbers they'll be sitting on the porch saying, "What took you so long?"
He sounded like Snoop Dog!
Just get the names of those who are leaving and check out who votes next time around. Bet they are the same...
Hmmm, you must be anyother nitwit that believes that humans all have psychic abilities.
You must think that the gun dealers KNEW that the devastation was going to be this bad.
You must think that the gun dealers KNEW, prior to the hurricane, to rent a U-haul to carry all their guns and ammo out.
You must think that the gun dealers KNEW that the governor of Louisiana would send the National Guard in without 'shoot to kill' orders regarding looters.
You must think that the gun dealers KNEW ALL THIS BEFORE the hurricane hit.
Are you sure you're not a DU troll? The belief that human beings have precognitive abilities is a sure sign of DU'ism.
(Bush KNEW that the hurricane was going to destroy New Orleans, but he didn't do anything. It's all Bush's fault!)
Yes, that was pretty depressing. Actually, it was pretty shocking. And I thought Nagin got elected because he was considered a "reform" candidate. I'd hate to see what his opponent was like, if he's the good guy...
I know there will defintely be some gang wars to come in Detroit
Great pic..will be making a T-shirt transfer shortly!
The 'shoot-to-kill' order given only YESTERDAY... Now that is criminal negligence.
She had the information on the looting and the shooting before yesterday and did nothing.
I wonder how many died by her inaction.
Yes, Wal-Mart had over $250,000 worth of guns stolen last report
Wise choice. Who can blame them? They are going to be pleasantly surprised there are other cities that are not organized crime operations as was the city of New Orleans.
I haven't investigated this other than the info given to me by a niece who once shopped for welfare. She decided to stay in Texas with relatives and did get off the rolls.
That's what I heard too.
" but this certainly isn't the first time an incompetent local official has been allowed to hold off the Feds."
No, it certainly isn't the first time, and probably won't be the last.
The Chief Moose situation was very different. That was totally law enforcement. And maybe in that case, the mayor (the chief's boss) should have stepped in.
I think in a situation of a natural disaster, the local authorities are looking for help and advice, (this mayor certainly was), especially if they haven't been thru a similar disaster in the past. Sending an adviser to aid the mayor or governor, isn't taking all control out of the hands of local authority.
In the end, it would avoid any appearance of "dereliction of duty". The official would be advised on how to handle things and how to remain in charge. If anything, the mayor or governor would probably end up looking like a hero.
It seems that in a population that is prone to riot, couldn't they get it right just this once and riot against their own criminal element especially when they are raping and murdering their own children?
I guess the paid instigators weren't there to direct them?
And please don't flame me as I lived through 5 race riots in Richmond California as a kid. They tried to burn out the downtown and my neighbor's ambulances as he was trying to rescue injured people.
In this state famous for corruption and incompetence and a carefree attitude (irresponsibility) a massive disaster was inevitable.
Everyone has known for decades that anything above a cat 3 hurricane hitting NO would flood the city.
It would take extremely responsible people to adequately prepare and totally evacuate this city every time a hurricane was headed in their direction.
Somewhere along the line denial set in and they just began laughing at the danger.
Hurricane parties are so much more fun than boarding up windows and packing you valuables to go stay in a motel a hundred miles away.
That's simply the natural, expected consequence of centuries of oppression...at least, that's a firmly-held belief by some liberal social activists (aka: morons).
Of course, the plain truth of the matter is there just isn't any excuse for this nonsense. None.
Civil authorities are justified in putting down riots by any means necessary.
The ironic part was there was a high end furniture store located in downtown Richmond where it was a well publicized fact that Willy Mays and other black athletes of the era bought their furniture to outfit their homes. It seemed to be the focus of at least three of the riots and after three attempts they succeeded in burning it down.
In this case, the Mayor was incompetent - a political novice who probably had no idea about what goes into governing a city - and the Governor, next in command, was also incompetent. She is another political idiot (teachers' union background, no command experience) and obviously is not up to the job.
Chief Moose was also a loser who had already been fired by one extremely liberal PD after gross failures there, and was hired because nobody expected anything serious to ever happen there and they wanted a black police chief. He kept warding off the FBI and other agencies, even state agencies, and was essentially able to project his political biases in such a way that he prevented a serious investigation. And this was known to many people.
We have a system of subsidiarity which, in principle, is a good thing. But when things go wrong, we don't really have a way for anybody at the next level to take over, and the ones who suffer, as usual, are the ordinary citizens. Heck, Moose got a book deal out of his incompetence, and I imagine that Nagin will, too.
I don't know if you are being sarcastic in your first 2 comments:
"It seems that in a population that is prone to riot, couldn't they get it right just this once and riot against their own criminal element especially when they are raping and murdering their own children?
I guess the paid instigators weren't there to direct them?"
If you lived through the race riots in CA then you know the truth. The thugs take advantage of situations. That this was not predicted or expected is negligence on the part of the local and state officials. They know the area the best.
The race riots I was familiar with were not filled with thugs, just the general population living in that area going around breaking and burning things. No one ever really could figure out the reason. They just seemed to spontaneously start.
Seems like they could harness that energy for good too if needed.
"I wonder how much airtime this will get played in the MSM in contrast to what Jessy, Al Sharpton, and Elijah Cummings have said ? Does anyone want to guess?"
..OK, here's my guess...none of these a$$holes will show up in N.O. until after the National Guard is able to bring in enough lumber to construct a "grand stand" for them to speak from. ...my two cents...
We have watched. We have seen: The guy w/o a weapon and ammo is screwed. And probably robbed and murdered as well.
Was this guy alive during the Watts riots in Los Angeles???
I was. I was working there. But maybe there couldn't be so many burned building in NOLA is because of the depth of the water. Some buildings burned in the Watts riots of 1965 STILL are NOT rebuilt.
"Seems like they could harness that energy for good too if needed."
Right! Detroit's mayor was so gracious and welcoming with his 'y'all come to stay'.
There will be interesting fallout indeed.
ROTFLMAO,,,,, I have to admit, that's a good one, and so true.
If you think that the criminal element did not already have guns, I have some nice real estate in NO to sell...
This talk of "looted gun shops" is just another excuse to blame the problems on the 2nd amendment. How many crimes were committed in NO because the ordinary citizen was *not* armed?
I'll bet that there are a lot more gun shops per capita in Mississippi than in NO, and far less violence.
We have no idea how many firearms were looted in NO at this time, just some political types trying to throw the responsibility and blame someone else.
I heard the other day that the reason there are so many blacks in detroit was because they went there after a huge flood in mississippi and never left...
I wonder if Bush told the mayor, the looters were domestic terrorists,..you're either for us or against us...?
One thing we don't hear about is the status quo out in the bayou communities affected by the hurricane.
Bayou life always had been a bit funky. Smelt sortof like NO smells today, more guns and ammo per person than the city, and plenty of gators, snakes and other critters.
I guess one could use the same liberal justifications and rationalizations for the criminal behavior in NO by appealing to the "You don't know how you would act unless you were in that situation" mentality. Somehow I don't think they would be so easily swayed if that same rational were used to defend David Duke. Then again, we don't hear of people like David Duke having any problems with looters and rapists in their midst.
Of course, one doesn't hear about a lot of things that happen down in the bayou.
Sortof makes you wonder how things might get played out in the end.
About an hour I imagine, if the owners had any employees there to help. Most gun shops lock up their entire inventory every single night. And not just in an ordinary room either. They know they are prime targets for thieves, and have to take pretty extrordinary measures to protect their inventory.
Even your local WalMart keeps most of it's gun back in a vault, save the dozen or so that are on display. In stores that aren't 24hrs, or where the sports department is not 24 hours, they lock those up every night too.
Lets not blame the victims here. I sorta doubt there are all that many gun shops in the affected area to begin with, folks like that can't pay the going rate. Pawn shops yes, gun stores, not many. Pawn shops have the same requirements to protect their guns as do gun shops.
Even if they did "load them up", the guns would be more vulnerable while being transported than in the safe. Many owners would have done that anyway, to protect them from damage due to flooding, even if they didn't expect his magnitude of it.
The shop owners are victims here, not perpetrators. That said, I doubt that what guns were stolen after the hurricane hit contributed much to the numbers of guns possessed by the gang bangers. WalMart doesn't carry AK-47s, not even the semi-auto variants.
"Granbury firefighters fear for their safety; back home from Gulf Coast chaos
Four Granbury firefighters helped hurricane-striken victims along the Gulf Coast, but have returned home early after hearing shots fired at fellow rescuers." from Hood County News in Texas......why do we not hear about this and I don't blame them for going home.
Funny, the National Guard was there from day 2, but mostly unarmed. When they came in Friday with guns, things changed. It's not the number of guns so much as who has them and who doesn't.
Only because there are so many Wal-Marts. WalMart doesn't sell handguns, not even .22s. They don't sell what were once termed "Assault Weapons". They don't even stock shotguns designed for serious social purposes. They sell hunting rifles, bird guns, and .22 rifles suitable for squirrels or plinking. Of course any deer rifle can be used as a sniper rifle, and except for the ever popular 30-30 lever action, will be more powerful and have longer range than an SKS or the semi-auto variants of the AK-47 or AR-15 (M-16).
That's why the blue states stay blue.
He is pandering for votes
Hopefully they used the smoke as cover. The Lost City of New Orleans is now the Kingdom of the Seal.
And since most of the gangbangers are drug dealers who also practice extortion, they probably had the best guns money and extortion could buy.
Where they can be shot? Texas LEOs and civilians, with CHLs and/or "deer rifles" (or in my case an ugly black semi-auto version of a battle rifle in 7.62x51, with scope) in the back of their pick 'em trucks will not put up with any of that... er.. stuff. Of course my neighborhood is pretty safe, surrounded as I am by two divisions of the US Army. :)
I tend to not give much credence to that number, unless Wally World had a gun warehouse in NO. That would be somewhere around 1000 to 1500 guns. Have you been to the sporting goods department of your local WalMart? They have about a dozen guns on display. They'll have maybe a couple or three times that many in the back, but those will be mostly the more popular .22s, not the 30-06 or .270 deer rifles. So say maybe 50 guns per store. You believe the gun safes in 20 to 30 WalMarts in NO were successfully looted? Be kind of hard, since there don't appear to be that many WalMarts in New Orleans proper.
I agree. At the first sign of trouble there should have been a shoot to kill order.
Wal-Mart basically knocked off that Japanese 'Just in Time Delivery' method of distribution. Walmart just does it on a vast retail scale. People would probably be shocked to hear how many copies of a book Amazon prefers to keep in stock.
Keep it under control down there!
No kidding. I remember when the "word is bond" evidence came out, and how freepers immediately figured out from that clue that the sniper was a black muslim!
And yet Moose got a book deal out of his incompetence. I imagine the mayor of N.O. will get a book deal as well.
I was in New York during 9/11, and the blacks in the city were, in my opinion, very patriotic. Everyone came together in a kind of solidarity, for the first few weeks at least. There was NOTHING like what happened in New Orleans. I think Giuliani was partly responsible for that, not only because he handled it so well at the time, but because he had instilled respect for law and order over the previous years. If 9/11 had happened under Mayor Dinkins, I hate to think what the reaction would have been.