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WWL>Topics>>6-3-14 2:10pm Angela: on armed citizen patrols

6-3-14 2:10pm Angela: on armed citizen patrols

Jun 3, 2014|

Angela talks with Aaron Jordan of the French Quarter Minutemen and Carol Allen of Vieux Carre Property Owners about armed citizens patrolling the Quarter.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I certainly hope you had an opportunity to listen to John White who was the superintendent. From. Of Louisiana schools and just with tried too hard to get him on -- meant a lot. That he stayed with this whole hour and sort of enlighten us on. The major changes that are happening in our state educational system that are gonna make us better and I think that's the bottom line. I also failed in the very beginning to tell you that in our third hour. Were going to have the head of the local FBI office Mike Anderson and another FBI agents from Baton Rouge talking about. All that is they're having to look at. During these times to we have these horrendous shootings. Such as we most recently -- in California. About what we have to look for how can we possibly try to prevent these kinds of terrific tax. But right now for the next hour I'm very very interested in this armed citizens patrolling the French Quarter. Is that a good idea. Proponents feel citizen involvement can only help. Those against hitter concerned having too many armed people could backfire with innocent people getting hurt. Well the French Quarter minutemen are organizing. And will be on the streets of the blue -- at some point. Joining us to talk about this is Erin Jordan founder of the French Quarter minutemen. And Carole Allen who's president of the -- cori property owners and a resident of the French Quarter. And I welcome you both I appreciate you both being here. Erin -- start with you just tell us kind of how this idea was -- -- it was an -- hand come up with -- I was inspired about the among other things and the -- potter incident artists in the French Quarter who was beaten in size to started a FaceBook page and down. -- we had. Maybe twenty flights are so it was mainly just people who knew me from my personal FaceBook page. In down I was invited by a local radio host to go on his show and then TV station another TV station in that thing has really taken off like a wildfire. So what we've -- it evolved into now look at that it's something that may be could still you some tweaking is on. Basically what we want to offer is armed citizens to. Cater to the US service sector of the city so. Bartenders waiters and and so -- It's offered them an escort an armed escort back to the ear cup car or bus stop or about three car stop. Late at night when they're getting off of work. So it isn't. My first perception wise was that it would be again armed people. Just helping patrol. As a present right. You could consider the fact that they're walking people from their car that they are doing some type of blow walked -- I wouldn't call now awful for -- Its role McLemore walked through because. The whole point is that these folks would be playing close though. It's not like down some people in -- -- in -- you know people some time paramilitary outfit. It's people in and playing a plainclothes just like you we've seen the French Quarter reap any neither of the of the week. And so you're calling for volunteers. Right if -- was interested and curious sticking to the FaceBook page which simply state FaceBook dot com slash French Quarter minuteman. They can like it and then making it. Now updates as far as our first meeting that's been scheduled for sometime this month. And so. Just an and believe me we have you know as you know on mr. -- brother works at WW well it was an absolutely. Horrific thing that happened to him. And in our hearts continue to go out because he still -- percent. And just. All too often it's one of those outrageous moments where why why does this happen right but I think the differences. You taking action. Right but I think what happened after the idea took off and it was on the local media. Apparently has scratched the surface of something that was on everyone's mind for a very long time it. I had no clue of and so I think that that people are being pushed into this. Let me just say this I just had a meeting at 1 o'clock. Myself and the legal advisor for the group whose attorney David -- striker in the French Quarter. We just had a meeting that was asked about the eighth district. We met with the ranking officers there at eighth district and they did and very positive who's very positive meeting. They're well aware of everyone's you know law abiding constitutional rights it's only in to carry a fire arm and how the state works as far as open carry law in. Also the ability to obtain -- CC a licensed. Mean down pointing their asking about his son's citizen that called in with concerns of about our arms understand. That's not very popular. Topic in the French Quarter. Down also. You know training in and so forth like that so -- -- the eighth district a police station that they will be invited to our first meeting. It -- news service sector workers calling for an escort to their caller we won't call them let them you know look we're sending out. You know two armed citizens over to you know. XYZ restaurant or or or -- or and there are going to be walking one of these employees back to you know his or her car or bus stop whatever the case. Okay. Care yes Carol you've been on a long time resident of the quarter I'm sure you're aware of that. Various incidents that happen and so many of them heartbreaking. But your thoughts on on what -- Well first of all I'd like to say that as a long time volunteer myself we all appreciate when regular citizens are willing to step up to the plate. And give freely of their time to try to make our city of -- app and a better place. And clearly what this what this illustrates. Is the real need we have in our city for stronger police protection. And we all worry about the fact that that we don't have more police presence on the street I mean I'd like to see a couple block where you actually walk out NC a police officer in uniform on every block in the French Quarter. We had an incident Saturday at 1230 in the afternoon on the corner of Burgundy and governor Nichols which was an armed robbery I -- this is the middle of the day. On Sunday. It was a rainy day so so. At while I'm I'm saying that we love to -- volunteer workers step up to the plate at the same time. What I'm hearing on most are a lot of questions from our residents -- more questions than answers since then maybe we'll get a chance to have -- today. Answered nothing that's very good. Do you think. Aaron that really -- -- touching on and we just don't have enough police. Well that is true I mean that's just not you know public opinion that was not actually confirmed on that long ago by the inspector general's office mr. -- -- he was on your so it was a matter of fact and -- at that there's a lot of improvements to can be made as far as how personal -- applied in the world's police and I certainly agree with -- I think that. In -- of their police officers you know fixing cars a -- cars or. You know whatever the case is that desk right. Is any more police officers book the the goal should not be more police officers -- -- be more police officers out there in the public. Out now. Lot of people I think that what you're trying to talents police. That's that that could be furthest thing from the truth I think superintendent surpass has done an excellent job since he's been here. I think he is in great outreach two people. But I think he's caught and catch 22 and what what what what I mean is is that. -- I place the blame on to the mayor's office I don't places on the police. And the reason I say that is is that that the mayor has. Has expanded city government with a seven deputy mayor slots. Which are highly paid. Appointees who wore you know let's just be honest stuff friends or and acquaintances -- there's some type of connection there. They're being paid when understand 180000 dollars a year plus benefits. And down. There's no police to answer in Iowa one call I mean that's unconscionable. That is something that I thinks it I mean it is something that people really need to think about. And that didn't -- further goes ahead and says well. We're gonna race I wanna put forth an initiative to raise taxes on the residents of Orleans payers. And if not we're gonna cut back on fire and police. Well. You or asking people to do one of two things either just roll over and give up or to say we're gonna organize we're gonna take up arms in -- patrol our own areas. And down that's just for a place the people. We're gonna take a break we're gonna come back we're gonna continue our talk about the minutemen of the French Quarter. It was some specifics about how they're gonna be trained what the schedules will be. And and more specifics about what this program is stay with this will be right back I'm Angela under the W well. Well they are calling it the French Quarter minuteman. Aaron. Jordan is our special guest today is the founder of it. It is still sort of a work in progress and that you are are forming anybody who was interested in joining -- And end the goal as you have said earlier would be to escort. People who work in the restaurants the bars at night to their car. And and in that sense they are like another set -- -- another protection. Right and then if they would see something of course there encouraged you called the -- eighth district. And down and let someone dear dear dear now and I think that. -- well let me just say this when I first started they were like you know 24 likes on FaceBook is almost 600 likes now so is obviously something has taken off. Once we have our first meeting I don't know how many of them are gonna actually show up and encouraging anyone who's interested in it to show up. This idea goes nowhere and last year's involvement from the people on FaceBook who said that they'd like the page. You know wasn't any interesting coming out there and there's nothing is this is just going to be stopped here because. It this things arrives on time and people's energy. If this is not a group about money -- -- never hear me or anybody else ask anybody for a donation or anything like that this is simply about time and energy and that's what. Drives it and that's what's needed in order for it to. Two to go further. In a perfect world how do you see. Where you would have a volunteer. Monday Wednesday Friday for four hours or would be in you would have the schedule. Well now what it is if that them. Every one is it will basically make up their own hours that's the beauty he could spend as much time with that was little time with that. The only catch is that you have to be out here at least with one of the person from the group. So you know he's violent groups of twos and threes and in four and so on. And then they would be you know phone numbers and call and say hey I want to come out of wanna put in a few hours. And then we would say well you know we do you have one of the person it's interest that you won't that that the two of you come out. And that as a service industry members called me and then we would send those people out to walk them -- to their cars and so. Okay now I think some of the concerns are. What kind of training will you have for these people. Right well most people that said that they are definitely insisted in the have a CCL light -- -- concealed carry lights out through that -- he received training -- two European accredited class. And -- Other people just have. A regular fire arms that they own and of course they would pass the federal background check in order to obtain that fire arm. And down day would if they don't have a CCL license that you carry it opened within certain areas of the French Quarter. So as far as training goes that something that we would like to do. Eventually. We would would like to do some range training and so on. But it's the it is -- straining. It's not like that these people are going to be out there enforcing laws I mean that's what what what people think is that. You need training to enforce laws which you do but -- going to be enforcing laws all we're going to do is to do and escort. For people from point a to point B that's all and I think the simple fact that that that. That the volunteers are all -- should in itself. Curb. The threat of crime in the area and give people may be a better sense of -- A more positive feeling that when they leave work you know they'll have the ability to get to their car safely. It's good care. Under what circumstances with someone. Pull his gun. That isn't dictated by me with the group that's dictated by the states now loss basically in this state we have off electoral that it turns to anger your ground lost. But which have to keep in mind is is that every one whose interest and in this group I mean they're all law abiding citizens they have jobs. I mean the last thing that they would want to do is to harm someone. And they give him and world that'll you know a lawsuit may -- you or or criminal action and so on. So so you know. Those those times I mean that and that happens every day. You know perhaps every day on the streets where. You know TP of arrogance and an and an argument and you know of course he's in that law abiding citizens and it it results in -- gunfire so. You know so that's what -- what I would say it is. The network it. Hypothetically if somebody did was escorting somebody to their car and an incident happened and they did polls are gone. And there were issues would they be liable or would -- organization be -- Well let me as far as an organization goes this is a volunteer group I mean we don't exist on paper. Anything else like yours. Not for for profit status with the tax ID number and all of that means legacy is this group is -- about about money it's just about time. -- we did it would pretty much be the same thing is like if you're getting enough work and you ask when -- co workers taking you walk be all over to my car parked the report blocks away. -- -- and asked them you know would you know due. Liability I do have liability insurance -- -- because they don't want I'm gonna walk you over to your car because it's in the decent thing to to do. Do you think your take in a big risk. Absolutely I mean I think that if this idea takes off I think that we could revolutionize the way that the city is. I think we can revolutionize the safety of the city. Yes -- of this is this is a step beyond. Traditional neighborhood watch. -- neighborhood watch in effect -- you have people out there but if you speak to people in the French Quarter I speak to a lot of them. They're scared to death to go outside pass a certain now. So you don't have too many people watching if they're locked up -- behind their doors but if you of people now that's aside from the service sector workers because they have to be out there that's that's that's their their jobs. -- that's that's that's what my take on it. You know has the word. Vigilante hasn't been brought up to use that as -- lukewarm do you have absolutely and -- usually in the term vigilante is and they usually victims somewhere. The only victims I see are the citizens and the workers in the French Quarter who routinely get robbed and mud and do whatever else you know people would like to call it. And also just the sense of fear that they hat -- I mean I can imagine go to work every day we have to be fearful when you get off most people are being -- happy when they. When they're nearing their time to to get well. And so I would say that the real victims. Audit of the workers in the French Quarter but as far as you know I've heard that that that term passed around and so on. We -- again we aren't enforcing any kind of of of laws only thing we're doing is providing. And an escort. For the workers to get you know back to the car or bust your really bodyguards. -- body guard because people are paying for -- you know it's. It would be like again if you got off of work and down and you ask what are your co workers can you give me you know can you walk me over. 34 -- that to where I parked the me. You wouldn't expect him to pull out you know a card without a license in someone he would he would probably just say sure. But the function it's really liked. A bodyguard -- I don't know keep them. I think that just simply the presence of people out there that are are armed not by themselves. Right. I think that that will dissuade crime in and of itself but this whole thing is an experiment. I mean. And you know I don't know what the result has -- I guess if it takes off we will find out. Well I think it's interesting that you are not looking forward and saying it works here than this is the solution. Two to a -- percent. I think that that if it takes off I think the people can start this in their own areas but wouldn't let you know the question I'll always give is that. Well what about you know the seventh -- what about the Ninth Ward what about New Orleans these those areas have you know. There's an idea that those -- have much much more crimes in the French Quarter. And I say that you can come up to the French Quarter. You can train with this as far as getting experiencing going back and forth and what to look out for and so on and then you can start your own neighborhood watch in your area. I want everyone to stay with this Kelly in particular you'll stay on the line ups I have got your college yet we need to break for the newsroom but we'll be right back this is Angela under the W. Well we're talking with not Erin Jordan and Carole Allen Erin Jordan has come up with the idea of minutemen for the French Quarter of these would be volunteer. People who would be armed to escort. People who work in the quarter at night to get safely to their cars. And Carole Allen as a longtime resident of French Quarter also with a degree properties on the owners association and we're just trying to figure out. Exactly where -- This whole concept is going as -- said we haven't had your first meeting at which you expect to its soon at some point yes and depending on them. How many people want to volunteer the issues that everybody of course chances is you know are these people going to be trained properly -- are they going to be. People of mental strength that just won't react and then the usual have extra guns on the street. Well I think extra guns on the street would probably be safer street I think if you look at the numbers I think that's cities with the with the strictest gun laws like Chicago for example have unbelievable. Rates of gun violence I think. Cities with more. Proactive gun laws that just maybe stick cities and in Texas have much less gun violence. Okay let's go to our caller Kelly uptown. Yes Kelly. Are you on good. Just wanted to make make you guys beware that while ago. Well actually he has not traces agenda. It currently has a felony walked out of Brazil rhapsody I don't know anybody that I had -- about his criminal history law. You know just to get does not basic I was letting go play around and transport -- -- or selling records are great at some. -- hold on second. We don't need to be ugly in -- human cases do you have a warrant out for your rest. I'm not going to address what killed exists just says its its stand up and Tutsis do with. What's happening here if Kelly has access to a police database. I'd like to know. How he would accessing information about me. Do you have -- -- what record. The book -- it -- as the Julia and that's very simple you wanna be. To be transparent what you tell us yet about the law. Well the game Kelly I'm not going to adjust anything on the radio like that. Against you that this is some kind of goalies they think you -- yeah responses it may go a great. Do you have a forget the felony arrest warrant do you have a background. I'm not it convicted felon and anyway I'm a law abiding citizen. I don't know -- not -- -- of what you have a felony wore out for Europe and you have a conviction called -- me. Okay and I you know this information how telling. I'm just -- I'm just got to know a lot of things and I think you know I think you -- I think the police just told you have a felony arrest or not good -- Again I'm not gonna just anything like that over the radio. On the court you know and. Okay thank you Kelly appreciate the information. You do did just meet with the media the police talking about your program here yet did that come up. Did did what -- there's a felony arrest warrant for you and you just met with the head of the eighth district. They didn't to rescue. I wasn't rested now that I had. Anything about a felony arrests -- are so -- -- I really can't get into any of that over the the the local radio with ineptitude to do with this group. OK let's go back to what we're talking about. But. Obviously this man knows. I don't I don't know 88 -- I'm a -- don't that's his his real name I mean you know I have no no clue -- Going back to the concerns of some would be. Yes I understand what you're saying about anybody who has a concealed weapons permit etc. has training. And passed with pass certain things. But when you arm I -- geared toward. I'm in a protection mode at all times escorting this person to their car. It would to me it would be sort of heighten awareness my concern would be a reaction. And not just calling 911. That they that something would happen and they would react and then. Back and that's not a police officer reacting that's a private citizen. Right well. Again that it happened. Any day of the week by ordinary. People I -- that this. If okay the state has passed these proactive gun laws but the problem is that in the city people are too afraid to use them because they're afraid of being hassled by. -- ups and -- You know the law abiding citizens have a job they have a schedule. -- they have things to do the lesson that that they need is to be issued some type a summons or an an arrest or whatever the case is. Because that would you know interfere with their daily lives of what they do mrs. date date date they just don't carry their weapons -- feel comfortable carrying -- so they leave it at at home. And then therefore they -- they'll they become a a walking talking. And is there going to be any criteria. With the minute men. Sure sure sure I'm I'm asking anyone I'm gonna put us on FaceBook page -- when we get close to having our first meeting. But I would ask you know anyone who's interested and actually going out there into the French Quarter to simply go into the year Paris. You know sheriff's office and to get a background check. The background checks very simple it's very easy they do it right there. It may cost of a believe it does cost five dollars and only fair simply to make cost fifteen dollars and Jeffs appears okay. Do you live in the quarter and -- -- a live in a -- but you've enjoyed frequent in the quarter -- though the bars and restaurants. And so on okay we're gonna take another break anybody who wants talked to -- and I appreciate you calling Walter we'll get right with you as soon as we come back. But we're talking about private citizens patrolling of the French Quarter escorting people who work in the quarter at night to their cars for safety. It's called the minute man of the French Quarter and it was started by Erin Jordan who was our guests as is Carole Allen who has a long time resident -- the quarter. We have a color Walter -- of altered. I think -- you -- Okay I'm nowhere you know like a K a year ago it and I worked yeah. You know felony erupts more out Williams right now he would not be tired. With the company we work well right now we do a background check. So you know I work where a private security company like he got. It via that felony law arrest or. I disagree with the glanced customer recall collar unit bout of models wore that he's ready as well. -- -- Well that that last caller wouldn't get about how one he had that information and but he was saying that it was done in the last several days I think. You know what is it. -- very good head of more like setting and had a warrant was rescue and network security company that we work to get a far. Okay well Walter I appreciate your calling and as I'm sure -- -- I appreciate -- -- -- and in addition to. You know doing some work with attorneys I also do some work with a private guards service. And down so I'll just leave -- I really don't wanna get it to a lot of press information because again this is not about air in Jordan this is about a group of people. Who are willing to organize is just so happened on the person that that started it. But I mean I can't do any this alone and lets people get involved with that so it's not about Aaron Jordan it's about the concept of citizen involved. Okay thank you very much Walter for your call but it is -- I mean not the French Quarter has not had. Very very bad things happening continue to have issues. With their other areas of the city that are are really. Rough -- was there any thought at all of perhaps starting there may be in central city or in some areas of uptown. Right and I certainly agree with on that this this this is what the issue is that. The French Quarter is unique in. There's costly people coming in now they don't know each other most of the people in different quarters don't really know. A whole lot of their neighbors. There's costly. Conventions and things going on in town. Where there's. Constant flow of tourists so there's a cost of most strangers in the French Quarter. So if you have people that are just walking about the French Quarter you don't know. You don't know them and they don't know you that the general feeling it. If you live though in -- a neighborhood like in a residential areas of likes the seventh ward of the Ninth Ward. New Orleans east or whatever the the cases. You know -- your neighbors are even you know people that did live there so if you see a group of people walking through or driving through or. Biking through. And you don't know -- then you'll note to avoid them. But I think what it. -- the cases is that if people are interest in starting those groups in your own area. They can certainly come with us they can receive some experience as far as you know what to look out for when when walking people back and forth. And they can walk through their own area and the people would know hey this is you know Joseph from Downing Street. He's one of the good guys. He's one of our neighbors and he's you know out here volunteers some time to keep the -- I'm just about to jump out of my seat -- one thing I've got to say it's that we are a neighborhood. -- fight night and day to send that message to the rest of the city we do know our neighbors. It's very easy in fact spot people who -- to -- being yes we have the biggest influx of tourists in the whole city. But please don't think that we are not a neighborhood with people who know each other awards are referred to the people that that that lived here I was referring to the criminals. I think I think that the criminals flocked to the the French Quarter simply because they know that they have -- They have people visiting with the money and then those of the people the using one of the becoming a victim of its not that. That the criminals live in the French Quarter. They may live around the French Quarter but they obviously it's in the first forty got a greater risk in my opinion of being. A victim of a crime from a complete -- Let me ask you about do you remember the guardian angels yes. This is sort of that I don't think they carried guns by the gardening is that an accurate guns. The thirty angels with a group out of New York I believe they're still around. They came through new -- for awhile I believe while they were still have some issues after the hurricanes. But they are no no longer here. I believe they were visiting though I believe that maybe that was staying in hotels or whatever the case was. So you know -- they they are a classic out of town out of state group. But this is made up of people who live in the -- here. Can can and it's one of the things that I've heard the most about most comments about and from people in the quarter as. Why we airplanes club playing close why not -- some kind of uniform and be identified. Right there's a couple of things with that one is that you don't want the criminals to now. Oh this person has is armed this -- with a group. Because what they'll simply do is this move onto a different group they'll just move on to a different street corner or a different area. But if everybody blends -- and then you don't know if somebody is armed or not or if they're a member of our group or not. On another thing with that is is that some people and I hadn't thought about this but some people brought up the concerned that old there's going to be people out here and paramilitary outfits with flak jackets and -- pants and you know rounds around the MO so that's the the other part of it is that you start to have a uniform people start. He -- away with a beautiful but because that regular closing in it'll just be regular day in the French Quarter. I have to ask what but the thought is of people as this spreads around. -- the rest of the people in the country think that we have to. Plainclothes armed volunteers to get from point to point me. Well I don't think it's all that different than a lot of neighborhood watch groups that -- only twist of it is is that. They're armed in the French Quarter where at the French Quarter and the city as a whole. Seems to be very. Anti gun or freight of guns. But would have to realize is that the criminals are happened they have so many illegal guns on the streets. That's just in the French Quarter but in in the city in this. It's like a genie out of the bottle you you just can't put it put it back. -- do you know any groups like yours exist anywhere else in the country in other cities. I mean. I would think many many cities that haven't a neighborhood watch group but as far as on the armed I think it's open that a lot neighborhood watches. May be armed but I don't think that they advertise that or I don't think that they actually go out there. But what was calling for is not necessarily just residents of the French Quarter but I was calling for. The residents of the natural area because we all have a stake in French Quarter people like to go there -- frequent so. I can't thank you enough caring for coming on an aunt Carol it's a very very interesting subject. Will stay in touch with you as it develops and certainly. If if you get your band of volunteers led the snow and and we'll do follow they get elect to have the first meeting. And you know where you can hold it it's gonna be somewhere in the French Quarter that way people who you know maybe they'll have a car with bike or walk through it okay. Thank you very very much everyone stay with this were going to be back but again our next hour -- the FBI here. We'll be right back. Today it's been a very interesting today from having John White talking about education. To the concept of the French Quarter minutemen. And it's gonna continue. In the next hour we're going to be talking with two members of the FBI about things we need to be on the lookout for.

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