Saturday, June 30, 2007


From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Case dismissed in Shavers murder

Orleans Parish prosecutors on Friday dropped all charges against the teenager accused of murdering the drummer for the Hot 8 Brass Band in December, saying their key witness -- a 15-year-old girl -- refuses to testify.

David Bonds, 18, was charged with the second-degree murder of Dinerral Shavers, 25, a band teacher at Rabouin High School and a Hot 8 Brass Band member who was shot in the head while he drove his wife and two children along the 2200 block of Dumaine Street on the evening of Dec. 28.

Police said a feud between Bonds and Shavers' 15-year-old stepson sparked the fatal shooting -- and that Shavers was not the intended victim.

District Attorney Eddie Jordan's office may re-institute charges against Bonds at a later date under Louisiana law.

"If we can get the witness to cooperate," said Dalton Savwoir, Jr., Jordan's spokesman.

Click here for the rest.

With it's historically corrupt government and police force totally strapped for cash and manpower in the unstable economic environment brought on by Hurricane Katrina, social issues that have bubbled beneath the city's surface for decades are now beyond New Orleans' ability to control. I mean, crime has been bad in the Crescent City for a long time, but under pre-Katrina conditions, it was manageable. Not anymore. And make no mistake about it: this massive crime wave is the direct result of the festering poverty long tolerated by the city's good old boy white power structure and the state of Louisiana. Yeah sure, each crime is the result of an individual making a decision, but you have to realize that these individuals come from desperate circumstances, broken homes, and generational urban blight.

At the moment, however, that remains a long term problem--a soluble problem, to be sure, if the white power structure ever decides to get serious about poverty, although I'm not holding my breath waiting for any white knights. In the meantime, New Orleans has become exactly like the dark, dangerous, crime-ridden, and corrupt fictional Gotham City of Batman comic books. This murder case dismissal mentioned above is but one of many other murder case dismissals. The DA's office can't seem to make charges stick. And the murder wave just goes on. My ex's hairdresser was killed in his home a couple of weeks ago. A biker was gunned down on Esplanade Street near the French Quarter when he tried to stop a thug from stealing his bike. A documentary film maker was murdered in her home a few months back while her husband, a doctor, took bullets meant for their child.

Two years ago New Orleans was drowning. Now it's burning. Short of martial law, I have no idea what the solution is, but a quick glance at the comments below the article excerpted above, as well as the gossip being fed to me by me ex, strongly suggest that street vigilantism is coming soon. Just as the urban horror of Gotham City gave birth to Batman, so will the urban horror of the Big Easy give birth to real-life vigilantes.

But this isn't a comic book. And vigilantes are notorious for shooting up the wrong people. Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.