Monday, April 23, 2007

Law & Disorder

Can someone explain to me why a felon found in possession of the handgun used to commit a murder is now walking the streets?

In a story in today's Times-Picayune (which I can't find on the NOLA.Com interface but only on the T-P homepage), we learn this:

In February, Jordan's team gave up trying to charge Eugene Treg, 20, with the first-degree murder in 2006 of Darryl Tyrone "Dizzy" Davis, 20. Prosecutors blamed witness problems and a dearth of physical evidence.

Treg, whose criminal record is lengthy, walked out of jail once the murder rap disappeared, not without a parting shot from Jordan's office, which said the courts wrongly released their suspect on a bond he had forfeited. An arrest warrant was issued for a weapons violation, but Treg remains on the lam.

In Treg's case, the ballistics from the gun police found when he was arrested on May 31, 2006, matched the ballistics from the Davis murder.

As a reasonable citizen I want to know why in the hell they wouldn't take this to a jury. If they could not, I want to know why the hell being a felon in possession of a gun that was used in a murder isn't grounds for to be held for something.

When someone like Eugene Treg walks, something is terribly wrong. I know things are not as simple as a television show like Law-and-Order, but how could anyone not indict someone for murder or some serious crime under these circumstances?

A year ago, my mother-in-law (who was not terribly fond of our idea to move to New Orleans) cheerfully placed a copy of the Time Magazine article Gangs of New Orleans into my hands. I think she hoped I would read it and stop and say, well, I guess we can't move there.

Instead, I saw the positives in a displaced criminal population, and a new found willingness of the locals to work together under the direction of the Feds to take the window of opportunity to turn around a deteriorating criminal justice system, and the deteriorating streets that went with it.

I was not naive about the challenges they faced, any more than I was naive about all of the challenges involved in moving here. Now, even as we move forward with levee and property tax reform, with newly elected leaders in the districts with returning populations, with a general sense that progress is possible, there remain many areas we have disappointingly fallen short.

I have to say that I am more than just disappointed that the DA and Police Chief have blown this golden opportunity to turn the situation around, to create a new environment in which criminal's don't talk about a "misdemeanor murder" but about hard time and greener pastures elsewhere. Riley and Jordan have failed us so profoundly that we cannot wait for the next election

We are a failed state, living among terrorists. I want to know when we get our surge.

I don't expect one. I think the powers that be in Washington are perfectly happy to "fight them here" rather than have our own gang-bangers back in Houston or Atlanta. They can decide this because they have written off New Orleans. They have the port open and the oil and gas are flowing. What do they care if the city itself lives or dies?

With an election in front of us, keep this in mind: if you vote for the incompetent and racially-charged local government status quo or for the party of George Bush, you are one of them and not one of us. The blood will be on your hands. You might as well go out and buy up a bunch of hand-guns at your next convenient gun show, and go do to Central City and pass them out for free.

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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