Monday night a group of about 40 marched through the French Quarter to show solidarity with the 400+ arrested in Oakland on January 28, and to protest the continued existence of police in New Orleans. Beginning on the neutral ground with a friendly Food Not Bombs canteen, participants ate and talked about the situation in Oakland as well as local police brutality. Then, with signs showing the faces of Henry Glover, Adolph Grimes III, and Ronald Madison and James Brissette (of the Danziger Bridge massacre) the march took to the streets, serenading the Quarter with anti-police chants.
This should serve as a reminder to NOPD and the Sheriff's Department that people are becoming more and more fed up with their crookedness. But contrary to the reform that some officers recently proposed for NOPD in an anonymously written letter addressed to "citizens", those oppressed by police will find no relief in a more efficient, better staffed force. Rampant police brutality exists in every city, regardless of how fat officers' salaries are or how many cops are employed. This tells us that corruption is endemic to the field. Everywhere they exist the police are nothing but armed thugs loyally maintaining the ruling elite's status through a monopoly on violence that permits them to decide who receives the benefits of the title "citizen" and who does not--and precisely because of this our freedom will never be theirs to decide.
Here is a personal account from the march: Fuck The Police: a New Orleans Protest
Update: As of this writing, local blog Nola Defender has posted about yet another man being shot and wounded by an unnamed NOPD officer, this time in an abandoned building in Central City. The article says Darrius Williams, 20, pointed a gun at the officer as he came into the squat, leading one to believe the officer was able to fire off a shot right in the nick of time, narrowly avoiding being shot himself. In fact Williams very well could have been the unarmed victim of a trigger happy officer. Assuming the investigation into the incident even turns up a weapon, it very well could be a "ham sandwich"--cop code for a planted gun--and no one would ever know. Considering that it's just the word of a 20-year old squatter against that of an officer of the law, we can be sure that we will only ever hear one side of the story.