My opinion on Monday's shooting is likely to be unpopular...
Something is really starting to bother me about the NOPD's situation, and I'm more worried about this than perhaps anything else that’s come up from Katrina to date.
Yes, the NOPD used lethal force on a man who lunged at them with a knife, but this is precisely what police are trained to do – not just in New Orleans. Everywhere. I don’t expect the police to “shoot to maim”, or wait to get a mental health report – particularly when there are as many innocent bystanders around as there were on St. Charles Ave.
It is a terrible tragedy any time a situation becomes deadly like this, but the New Orleans Police Department does not appear to have been doing anything other than protecting citizens and themselves, per policy and training. This independent watchdog group stated the problem very well:
Even if it's determined that officers have done nothing wrong, the people will continue to have a negative opinion of police in this city" because of scandals over the past 10 to 15 years, said Rafael Goyeneche, executive director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission of Greater New Orleans.
That’s very scary. If this continues long enough, New Orleans will be every bit as unsafe as it used to be (or more so), because its police department will not be able to act without second guessing themselves into paralysis.