Police Superintendent Warren Riley says the population count used to calculate the New Orleans murder rate is not accurate.
"We believe that there is a significant increase in our population with the undocumented workers who are not counted," said Riley.
But, two sets of population estimates show the Crescent City ahead of St. Louis, Baltimore, Birmingham, Jackson, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, which ranked 7th on the list.
Using the FBI's numbers of just over 281,000, New Orleans had 64 murders per 100,000 people.
Using the recent census figure of close to 312,000 people, the city had 57 murders per 100,000.
Chief Riley uses what he considers to be the flawed number to make the point New Orleans is reducing its murder rate.
“We were at 75 per 100,000 back in 2006, 70 in 2007 and if use the best numbers for 2008, the best population numbers of 311,000, we were at 57 per 100,000," said Riley. "Clearly there is still a problem."
I think Superintendent Riley is as good at spinning the numbers as some of our pro-gun friends. He only used the "best numbers" as he called them for 2008. But as some observers said, whether it's 57 or 64 per 100,000, New Orleans is one dangerous city.
In the several articles I looked at about this story which was released in June, there was no mention of guns. Is that because Louisiana is a gun friendly state and they don't like to blame the problem on the easy access of guns? Or is it as many of our commenters say, that the "tool" used to commit murder is not important?
I think it's very important. I think it makes all the difference. And I ask you who say gun trafficking to the northern cities is not a factor, when looking at New Orleans, where do you suppose their guns come from? Do you think they are trafficked in from New Jersey? Or are they bought locally from legitimate dealers and end up in criminal hands?
What's your opinion?