NOPD searches for suspects wanted in connection to Esplanade Ave. fire station theft

(Photo courtesy of the NOPD)
Two suspects are wanted by New Orleans Police in connection to the theft of a radio from the Esplanade Avenue fire station on Thursday.

The theft occurred after the suspects entered the New Orleans Fire Department Station 9 located in the 400 block of Esplanade Avenue shortly after 2:45 p.m. on May 21, according to the NOPD.

A male suspect allegedly entered a fire truck parked inside the station and stole a black and green Motorola radio from its charging station.

The two suspects fled eastbound on foot down Frenchmen Street, the NOPD said, adding that the radio has a serial number of 581CST1106 and is valued at approximately $5,000.

Surveillance camera footage of the alleged suspects (pictured above) was released on Tuesday by the NOPD.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll-free at 877-903-7867.

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NOPD searches for two men wanted in connection to shooting on South Rampart Street

(Picture courtesy of the NOPD)
Two men are wanted by New Orleans Police in connection to an alleged shooting on South Rampart Street Friday morning.

The shooting occurred at about 10:40 a.m. on Friday following an altercation between two groups of males in the 100 block of South Rampart Street, according to New Orleans Police.

Two males, pictured above, allegedly fired a handgun at a group of three other unknown males after the confrontation and ran away on Basin Street.

Further investigation revealed the two male suspects fled the scene in the vehicles also pictured above, New Orleans Police said.

The shooting is under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the identity and/or the location of the pictured suspects is asked to contact Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll-free at 877-903-7867.

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New Orleans Police ask public to help ID suspect in Esplanade hotel burglary

New Orleans Police are asking the public to help identify a man who allegedly burglarized an Esplanade Avenue hotel on Friday.

The suspect reportedly entered the hotel in the 600 block of Esplanade Avenue shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday, May 8, according to New Orleans Police, who didn’t identify the name of the hotel.

After rummaging through the rooms and office, the suspect left the location through the front door with cash and several items in his possession.

New Orleans Police on Tuesday released a surveillance camera photo of the suspect, who is pictured above.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s identity and location is asked to call Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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NOPD releases crime camera map after LA Supreme Court rejects city’s appeal to keep it secret

New Orleans Police released hundreds of crime camera locations throughout the following the rejection of a legal appeal in March over a public records request to keep them secret.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on March 16 refused to hear an appeal filed by New Orleans on behalf of Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold, who sought to keep the locations 400 city-operated crime cameras hidden from public view, even though they are visible from the street.

The appeal’s rejection forced the city to reveal the locations its crime cameras, which are operated and viewed by personnel on a 24-hour basis inside the Real-Time Crime Center located at 517 N. Rampart St., which were sought in a public records request filed in 2018.

Additionally, the rejection awards attorneys fees to Orleans Public Defender Laura Bixby, who filed the lawsuit and was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.

Bixby filed her records request in August 2018 seeking documents on the RTCC, including staffing numbers and a map of “publicly visible” crime cameras, which is shown below.

City officials, however, denied the portion of the request seeking the camera map, citing a public records law exemption for investigative documents and physical security information.

Bixby and the ACLU sued the city in February 2019, eventually winning an appeal at Louisiana’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in December of that year.

The city’s refusal to release crime camera locations echoed a concern by the Office of Independent Police Monitor in a letter to Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell shortly after the RTCC was completed in November 2017.

The RTCC and cameras were part of a $40 million Citywide Public Safety Improvement Plan unveiled by then-Mayor Mitch Landrieu in January 2017. The plan included the deployment of other surveillance technology, such as automatic license plate readers and a computer-assisted dispatch center.

It replaced a camera system similar to one initiated by Ray Nagin in the early 2000s, except many cameras didn’t work and the project was mismanaged, ultimately becoming a boondoggle for the convicted former mayor and cost taxpayers an estimated $13 million, according to WWL-TV.

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In the OIPM’s letter, which was issued on Nov. 28, 2017, Cantrell was warned of the risks to privacy abuse surrounding the retention of camera images.

“The retention of images and data may increase the likelihood of misuse and improper release whether from hackers, surveillance personnel, or police officers anxious to gather evidence,” wrote Susan Hutson of the OIPM. “Retaining images increases the likelihood of violating our 4th Amendment rights to privacy through the practice of ‘tracking’ citizen’s movements and identity.

“Additionally, Louisiana’s fairly permissive public records law may present a challenge to the city, if and when members of the public and the press wish to obtain such data.”

The map published on the city’s website, which can be viewed here, shows 32 crime cameras located in the French Quarter and its outskirts, with most of them concentrated along the 100 to 900 blocks of Bourbon Street.

Crime cameras flash blue and red lights and have the NOPD logo on them.

Images and data retained by the camera system are used by New Orleans Police for investigative purposes and regularly included in press releases issued by the NOPD.

Click to access filed_copy_amended_petition_bixby_v._arnold.pdf