Despite leading the nation in homicides, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the national designation of murder capital doesn’t sit right with her and she doesn’t embrace it at all.
She made the comments at a press conference on Tuesday, saying the data that is used is on government terms and not based on what is actually happening.
The mayor says the city can still safely host big events and most murders are among people who know each other.
In September, the city’s 52 homicides per 100,000 people outpaced St. Louis, which had led the nation with a rate of 45 homicides per 100,000 people. By comparison, there have been 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 people and 3.5 per 100,000 in New York City. And local promoters and economic development leaders complain that the crime headlines are making it harder to sell the city.
Cantrell also reiterated on Tuesday that her recent travel upgrades were not for luxury, but for her health and well-being. She said the threat of COVID has prompted her to fly first class in some cases and she has also cited security concerns. City Council President Helena Moreno says she will write Mayor Cantrell a letter reiterating how important it is for her to pay back nearly $30,000 of taxpayer money spent on travel upgrades. If the mayor refuses, Moreno says the council will move forward with legislation to dock her pay in 2023.