(Correction: Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club was erroneously identified as the group that held the rally. Zulu did not hold the rally. The New Orleans Social Aid & Pleasure Task Force held the rally.)
NEW ORLEANS -- Community leaders spoke out over the shooting of a toddler in front of the steps of the 6th District police station in Central City on Monday. The two-year-old was killed after gunfire broke out Sunday afternoon near the vicinity of where a second line had taken place.
The leaders of the New Orleans Social Aid & Pleasure Club Task Force said they want to make it clear that they are devastated about the 2-year-old's death, and that a long New Orleans tradition is getting a bad reputation of attracting violence. Leaders of the task force were joined by members of the Central City Partnership, Congressman Joseph Cao, members of the NOPD, Capt. Robert Bardy of the 6th District, clergy and other concerned citizens.
“We are so sad and upset that cowards would take the opportunity to do the things that they do to disgrace a culture and the strong people you see standing here,” said Barbara Lacen Keller, chair of the Central City Partnership.
“We are tired of our events being tarnished because of violent acts. We work hard to host our annual parade,” said Tamara Jackson of the task force. “Stop it. Do not come to our events. We do not welcome you. If you come for the wrong reasons, we do not welcome you.”
The leadership of task force said they had nothing to do with Sunday's second line.
It's second-line season in New Orleans and they have another second line scheduled this weekend.
There are a total of 73 documented walking clubs in New Orleans.