Perhaps the most encouraging development in the recent arrest of two young men accused of shooting into a New Orleans Mother’s Day parade was the number of people willing to phone in anonymous tips about what they saw during the shooting.
The shooting in the Crescent City’s 7th Ward left 19 shot and another trampled. Shawn Scott, 24, and his 19-year-old brother, Akien, have been charged with the shootings, and four other suspects have been booked as accomplices.
These suspects should be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty in court. But the willingness of New Orleans residents to speak to the police is a hopeful sign. Too often, in troubled neighborhoods across the country, including Baton Rouge, a code of silence prevents law enforcement officials from prosecuting those responsible for violent crime.
New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas pointed to the willingness of citizens to offer information in the investigation of the Mother’s Day shootings as a good sign.
“The rules of the game have changed on the streets of New Orleans,” Serpas said.
We hope that Serpas is right, and we hope that stronger efforts at community outreach by law enforcement officials in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge can help turn the tide against violent crime.