Members of the California National Guard's 1st Squadron, 18th Cavalry, walk by Larry Flynt's Hustler Club as they patrol Bourbon Street in the French Quarter September 25, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Cleanup from Hurricane Katrina continues now that Hurricane Rita passed through the area September 24.
Residents of the B. W. Cooper Housing development in New Orleans were in mourning on Sunday after a one-year-old girl was shot dead, caught in a crossfire on the city’s streets. Now, a Louisiana lawmaker is calling for the National Guard to again patrol the streets of New Orleans in order to stop the violence that has taken over the Southern town.
"Everybody's afraid," Rep. Austin Badon Jr. told CNN. "The bad guys are running the city right now. We gotta take this city back."
Badon was speaking out in reaction to the shooting death of Keira Holmes Gordon, who was gunned down in a double shooting on Sunday, just four days before her second birthday. Police say gunmen from two separate cars opened fired on a man who was standing nearby. The man ran into the crowded courtyard full of kids trying to escape the stream of bullets.
He was hit several times, but survived. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. Also, in a separate tragic incident on the same day, a nine-year-old boy was found shot in the back, local news station WDSU-TV reported.
The city’s West Bank of Jefferson Parish has also been the setting for a string of homicides, including the recent shooting death of 16-year-old Michael Taylor—the teen who made headlines in January after he was spanked by his uncle for his alleged gang ties in a video that went viral. In addition, in the same area of town, police reported two other fatalities and three non-fatal shootings in just over one week.
Badon, who represents part of Orleans Parish, wants the National Guard mobilized on New Orleans streets to restore order and deter crime. It would be the second time military reinforcements would be called in; the first was during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when thousands of National Guard and U.S. Army troops were called in after reports of widespread violence in the city.
Badon reportedly contacted Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office on Monday.
A representative from the governor’s office told CNN on Monday that the governor would need to receive a request for military presence from the city’s mayor before giving the green light. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said on Tuesday that the National Guard is already in the city, working “behind the scenes.”
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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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