"In almost every urban area, black men are killing black men, and I think it's at the point of genocide," Lee said according to FOX 8.
Through a multimedia public awareness campaign called “Flip the Script,” the pair hope to slash the city’s high murder rates by changing the attitudes of young, black men in New Orleans as well as public opinion of the demographic.
"The numbers don't lie -- young black men are killing each other at an alarming rate, and this is a bold attempt to try and spotlight this issue," said Lee.
Mayor Landrieu told reporters that he is committed to "really get[ting] down in the deep” to find ways to make the streets of New Orleans safe, noting that the city has averaged 241 murders every year for the past 30 years.
The message of the campaign acknowledges that the city’s violence issue does not sit squarely in the hands of African-Americans, but also in the perception of Black males. A message that was echoed by the Department of Justice who recently partnered with the New Orleans Police Department to combat chronic corruption and insensitivity toward minority citizens.
"Right now they need something to turn this around,” Tulane University criminologist Peter Scharf said according to FOX 8. “The issue is, do you turn the reality around, or do you change the perception? And this may be a perception play."
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