Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Commander Goodley at the 5th Distict, and Chief Ronal Serpas

This is the email I sent to both Commander Goodley of the 5th District, and to Chief Ronal Serpas, today, June 12th, at about 3:15 pm.

Commander Goodley can be reached at: cdgoodley@cityofno.com
Ronal Serpas can be reached at: nopdchief@nola.gov

This was also CC'd to contacts at City Hall, including Jacqui Clarkson & Kristin Palmer, and contacts in the local press & media.
Feel free to add your voice and your concerns to the list.
Email them, today.
Be polite, but be firm.
The life you save may be your own.

To Commander Christopher D. Goodley, 5th District, 
NOPD and to Chief Superintendent Ronal Serpas; 

Sirs; I am writing regarding an incident that occurred last night (Monday, June 11th) at about 11:00 - 11:30 pm. A young man, I know only by name, as Tommy, was walking up Congress Street, towards St Claude, to attend a party directly across St Claude. I will mention here that Tommy is about 28, white, new to town, just having moved to the Bywater from Biloxi, and walks with a cane.

This is what happened next, as far as I have been able to discern so far;
Five young black men stopped him @ Congress & St Claude, 
and demanded his wallet. As he handed it to them, one of
them smashed the back of his head with a bottle & he lost
consciousness. By the time he finally crawled to my friends
houses, Denise & Jessica's, about a block away, he had a broken
jaw, broken teeth, an apparent fracture to the back of the skull,
a broken arm and various lacerations, including a knee injury
that prevented him from walking. He was taken away by ambulance &
a police cruiser was there. 
The officers claimed to be writing a report. 

Word at the party is that there have been at least two other occasions of this, recently, although not as vicious. What I find almost equally alarming is that NO MENTION
IS BEING MADE OF THIS in the New Orleans over night crime report, from 6am Monday until 6am Tuesday. There are listings of assault by cutting, armed robbery, and carjacking, but not this. 
You can go to that link and see for yourself, here

 I find it very disturbing that a young man, beaten almost to death in the course of a robbery, doesn't qualify as a crime worthy of note by the 5th District NOPD, or the New Orleans Police Department in general.
   Far from 'assisting the community', which we hear so much about, this kind of edited information will simply allow more citizens to be in harms way, clueless as to the known violent possibilities that the NOPD knows full well could await them. Is this a matter of keeping statistics in line, or merely so acceptable that we don't deserve to know about it? 
Certainly, since other crimes that happened AFTERWORDS, are reported in the attached column, there must have been news of this available. 

  In October of 2006, I personally stood before Troy Carter & NOPD officials at a community meeting on Frenchman St., and reported door to door crime in the Marigny, asking, no, begging for attention before someone was killed in these attempts. 
Months later, my neighbor, Helen Hill was shot in the face & killed, merely for answering her door. Her husband was shot several times in the back, protecting their 2 year old son from that same crazed shooter. I will NEVER forget waking up to those shots. 
For what it's worth, that shooter has never been caught. 

  Years later, many of us petitioned the 5th District to take action when a couple of neighborhood youths began a series of violent attacks, including throwing bricks at passersby, and knocking over bicyclists as they rode past. No reports were offered to the Crime Report then, either. 
Two weeks later, my friend, Wendy Byrne, was shot & killed by some of the same youths. 

 Last December, many of us in the Marigny/Bywater listened in horror as we heard stories of a young man who kidnapped, raped and tortured his robbery victims. Two of these victims, Taylor, and his girlfriend at the time, were also friends and colleagues. 
Then, too, no listing was made in the New Orleans Crime Report, and so, our stories were met with disbelief. Surely there would some kind of report, people said. 

That time, too, I personally called the 5th District to ask  about this crime. 
There is no easy way to put this; 
They laughed at me. 
They joked about it. 
They asked me "Do you THINK you safe?" followed by more laughter. 
Needless to say, nothing was done, until over a week later, when three people were dead. Again, one of them was an acquaintance, John Flea. 

This is how Cedrick Berryhill started. Beatings and kidnapping & rape & robbery. 
So, here we are again. 
How long until one of this crowd gets a gun? 
Or all of them do? 
Why have we not heard about these other incidents? 
Will this one be reported? 
I am hereby making my concerns known, and insist that citizens be warned. 
In Berryhill's case, there was no press or serious investigation until three people had been killed. Please, I implore you, don't let that happen again. 
It could be you, your family member, or someone you love who takes that bullet. 

Please report this incident, and those that follow, openly, in the New Orleans Crime Report and Email blasts. We don't all have time to go to Non-Pac meetings and ask what's been happening. Nor should we have to. I would think that a police department capable of reporting the entire crime history of murder victims could get out the news that there are gangs of dangerous thugs, beating people almost to death, on the New Improved St Claude Avenue. 
I certainly hope so. 

Commander Goodley; 
Sir, you are new to the 5th District, and I hold high hopes that things will be different under your tenure. Please, make this announcement before I have to attend the funeral of another friend. All of the previous deaths were predictable. I know, because I predicted them, myself, even to the authorities. 
They may have been preventable, as well. 
I'm hoping that you can prove that true, by preventing what can only be a bad outcome from this latest string of violence. 

Very best regards; 
Lord David 
New Orleans  


Lord David said...


The email address for Commander Goodley, listed on the NOPD Website, is wrong. It was sent back as undeliverable.

The correct address, given to me by Nicole Webre at CM Palmer's office, is:

The email has since been resent.

Lord David said...


A contact from The Lens has gotten in touch with me. He was at that party, and said:

"I was at that party you are writing about. The officer indeed did not write up a report and just drove off after the ambulance did."

Lord David said...



This just in from NOPD:
"New Orleans Police are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a person who may have additional information regarding an armed robbery that occurred on the evening of Friday, June 8, 2012, in the 900 block of Burgundy Street. Shortly before 5:00 P.M., the victim was walking in the 900 block of Burgundy Street when she was approached by an unknown subject.
The subject subsequently struck the victim in the back of the head at which time she was rendered unconscious. When the victim regained consciousness, she discovered her wallet missing from her purse."

I guess if it's not in the French Quarter, it just doesn't matter.

Lord David said...


Commander Goodly's name doesn't have an 'e' in it.

His email address is:


Again, thanks to Niocle.

Lord David said...


Why is this making the prime time news, and a similar, yet more vicious, beating & robbery of a man in the 5th District goes unmentioned?
Oh yeah. Tourists love to see Law & Order in the French Quarter. Out here, we're just fodder for the grist mill.