The New Orleans Police Department today announced the number of murders for parking spots in the city during the 2014 holiday season has decreased compared to the same period in 2013, but crimes of passion have increased.
While the number of homicides for people competing to get the same parking spots have dropped, there have so far 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,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison.
“I think people are starting to figure out that jail time isn’t worth it.”
Seventy-eight murders 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 ensure that the people of New Orleans can shop for Christmas in peace,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison.
“There is no question that putting more officers in parking lots is a major part of the solution.”
While murders are down, Superintendent Harrison advises shoppers to remain vigilant as the peak of holiday season draws near.
“It’s great to see less 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,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
“We’ve already had 3,425 murders in the parking lots of Lakeside Mall alone. The white lines marking the spots there are now red. But at least it’s a color of the season.”
While he hasn’t publicly made any statements, Jefferson Parish president John Young has revealed to his inner circle he may call on state and federal officials to provide the parish, especially the Lakeside Mall area, with additional resources to help stamp out violence, including 100 state troopers on long-term assignment to patrol the area.