The New Orleans Police Department today announced the number of murders committed while getting parking spots in the city this holiday season has decreased sharply compared to the same period last. However, crimes of passion have increased.
While the number of homicides for people competing to get the same parking spots has dropped, there have been more charges of assault, battery, and disturbing the peace.
“The number of fights and beatings we’re seeing this year is higher than previous years, but the murders are down significantly,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said. “I think people are starting to figure out that jail time isn’t worth it.”
Seventy-seven homicides for parking spots have been reported so far this holiday season compared with 252 during the same period last year.
“We are working every day to make sure that the people of New Orleans can shop for Christmas in peace,” Ferguson said. “There is no question that putting more officers in parking lots is a major part of the solution.”
While homicides are down, Superintendent Ferguson advises shoppers to stay vigilant as the peak of the holiday season draws near.
“It’s great to see fewer murders occurring for parking spots, but everyone needs to stay alert and remain cautious. December 23rd and 24th tend to be the most vicious days with the most bloodshed as last-minute shoppers begin panicking.”
While New Orleans is seeing improvement, officials in Jefferson Parish are scrambling to figure out a solution to a rise in murders there.
“Honestly, I think it’s spillover over from Orleans and it kind of surprised us,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said. “We’ve already had 3,425 murders in the parking lots of Lakeside Mall alone. The white lines marking the car spots are now blood red — but at least it’s a color of the season.”
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee-Sheng said earlier today she may call on state and federal officials to provide the parish with more resources, especially around the Lakeside Mall area, such as additional extremely beautiful art installations to draw attention from crowds and reduce tension.
Police remind citizens that all laws still apply, even during the holidays.
“The city’s limited parking is extremely valuable, especially during the holidays. So, it’s important to remember that even if you are murdered while trying to get a spot, you still only have a maximum of two hours to be there,” said Ferguson. “Otherwise, the meter maids may write you up, and the last thing we want to do is tell your family they have to come down to have your body unbooted before being able to claim it.”