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"Out-of-state gangs invaded' N'Orleans


"Out-of-state gangs
'invaded' N'Orleans

Used boats, SUVs to enter city, turn it
into 'free-fire zone,' says military analyst
Posted: September 17, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
"Well-organized, heavily armed, out-of-state street gangs from as far away as Memphis, Dallas and Miami invaded New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation of the city and turned it into a "free-fire zone," said military analyst Col. David Hunt.

Hunt made the charges on Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" last night, saying local police forces were unprepared, outgunned and overwhelmed.

"It was as bad as the early days in Baghdad," said the Fox military analyst.

He accused some police officers of complicity and participating in the looting. Hunt also said the New Orleans Police Department had only three boats to cruise the flooded streets and two were not operable.

The gangs fought for turf in the nearly deserted, flooded streets of the city for six days, terrorizing those left behind and looting shops, jewelry stores, museums and banks.

While as many as 3,000 people were involved in looting, according to authorities, only 325 were arrested – most of those local kids stealing TVs and other appliances, said Hunt. Most of the other perpetrators, including the outside gang members, got away.

Hunt, a critic of Louisiana state officials' handling of the evacuation and its aftermath, has said they "would not pull the trigger" on getting federal help when it was needed.

He has also criticized U.S. officials for not federalizing the National Guard troops on the ground.

Because local officials were not properly equipped with satellite phones, "the communications grid dropped right off the face of the earth in New Orleans."

"What I'm talking about is there were no eyes on the ground in New Orleans to know the extent of this disaster," he said.

While the death toll approaches 500 in New Orleans, rescue and recovery workers say they've found many victims who died from gunshot wounds and other forms of violence apparently inflicted by gangs who terrorized the city after the storm struck.

New Orleans fire and rescue worker Gary Hatch said the first bodies he recovered died of either gunshot wounds or had their throats slit."

Entry #68


ToddComment by Todd - September 17, 2005, 9:50 am
Interesting read - thanks.

Comment by Rip Snorter - September 17, 2005, 9:56 am
Strategy, logistics, transportation, probably supply. That's surprisingly organized planning and behavior for the folks I've always thought of as 'street gangs'. Sounds like almost military organization, not in a single gang (they fought over turf), but in a number of unrelated ones. They'd have had to carry in their own water, had SUVs and boats ready and waiting, as well as a strategic plan.

That's an amazing, almost unbelievable story. Street gangs behaving as though there are organized, trained, disciplined minds directing them, and members who are able to follow instructions and prepare for eventualities outside their body of experience... imagination.

Startling implications.

konaneComment by konane - September 17, 2005, 10:13 am
Sheds a whole new light on violence and looting in NO. Thanks for both your comments!!!
four4meComment by four4me - September 17, 2005, 11:52 am
My brother lived in NY for about 20 yrs he said these gangs lived for the days when the power would go out or a heavy rain storm and incidences where there were opportunities for them to rob places. They had storage facilities to put whole tractor trailers full of stuff if need be, kept all the necessary tools of the trade to break into and enter vaults and could rob any place almost without detection. He said they would even go as far to create diversions by setting off alarms or calling police to one location while they did the job in another location.
He said the big practice runs for them were in the meat district when the driver of a large refrigerated tractor trailer would get out one of the thieves would jump in it and drive the refrigerated truck to one of their storage locations and they would sell the contents in less than 12 hrs then dispose of the truck usually by driving it to some remote location and setting it on fire.
konaneComment by konane - September 17, 2005, 12:12 pm
My hope is that since the Feds helped locals thin our one gang in LA that particular method of assistance will spread throughout the US until they're badly crippled or gone.
LittleoldladyComment by Littleoldlady - September 17, 2005, 4:37 pm
There have been several bank robberies committed in our area and the police do think 1 or 2 gangs are responsible..the robberies are daring and carried out with military precison. It should not be a surprise that gangs can operate that way..look at the Mafia..Kids now a days learn from watching TV.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - September 17, 2005, 6:39 pm
i live in memphis.detest these gangs more than anything.bunch of damn idiots with nothing better to do.
konaneComment by konane - September 17, 2005, 8:11 pm
We'll all hope that one of these days the bank robbers will be at the wrong place at the wrong time (for them) and that'll take care of the situation. They're also in the Atlanta metro area leaving their "tags" as fast as they can be painted over.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - September 17, 2005, 10:56 pm
ironic thing is here about a month ago in memphis a man was taken at gunpoint to the bank to withdraw money when they got to the bank the robber got up to get out and the man being robbed pulled out a pistol and shot the robber dead.it was on the front page of the commercial appeal.i was glad.i have no sympathy for robbers,thieves and the whole lot......

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