January 07, 2006

Somehow I don't think this is a coincidence....

Seems that no good deed goes unpunished:

Police in Houston reported a 23 percent jump in murders over the last year as the fourth largest U.S. city grappled with 150,000 evacuees from New Orleans and no extra money to cope with the influx.
Thousands of Katrina evacuees flooded the Houston area (pun intended) in the days after the storm.  While many of them arrived empty-handed, it appears some brought their criminal intentions with them.  According to the article:

The city's murder rate was already increasing before Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, city officials say, and was worsened by a staffing shortage in the police department.  Police say at least 10 of the deaths have included suspects or victims from New Orleans, a city that had one of the highest U.S. murder rates for years, leading the country in 2002 and 2003.

Houston's spike in murders came sharply into focus over the Thanksgiving holiday when 14 people were killed during the long weekend, about twice the usual number.  "It was definitely a bad, long weekend," Houston police chief Harold Hurtt said at the time.

One of the murders resulted in the arrest of a New Orleans evacuee suspected of shooting another, and city officials say many of the crimes have taken place in apartment complexes where the evacuees are now living.  This week, Hurtt launched a program to increase police presence at the troubled complexes and other areas with increased crime. "Some of these areas that have been identified are clusters of evacuees," he said at a news conference on Wednesday.

It's really not surprising given that New Orleans has consistently been among the most deadly cities in the US, and the murder capital in 2002 and 2003.  Even just statistically speaking, that many New Orleans transplants was bound to increase Houston's murder rate.

What's exceedingly unfortunate is that the usual citizens of Houston are suffering as the police (whose salaries they pay) focus their energies on the New Orleans evacuees  (who don't).  Sure the evacuees don't account for all of Houston's troubles, but they don't help either.

Read the entire article.  What do you think?

Posted by GMT (DH) at January 7, 2006 07:07 PM | TrackBack

These bourgeois Houstonians should try to understand the root causes of the evacuees' violence; surely the anger and poverty caused by the hurricane have forced these poor, innocent fellow human-beings -- the "have-nots" if you will -- to lash out against the "haves" of Texas (a red state that has produced the evil Bushitler). At least that's my fake opinion on the matter.

Posted by: Cardinal Martini at January 7, 2006 11:36 PM