Murder victim's mother asks for more community involvement to help solve crimes

Jade Cunningham talks about reasons homicide investigations are taking longer, and a mother's plea.

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday comes on the heels of a bloody 24-hours in New Orleans, with two people killed and two others shot.

One of the main goals for the event is to help build relations between first responders and residents.

However, one mother is using it as a way to let the community know, they need to do more when it comes to taking a stand against violence.

As neighbors came to the annual Night Out Against Crime Event in her neighborhood, for Patrina Peters, there was one person missing.

"There's not a minute, hour or second that goes by that I don't think about my son," said Peters. "I wake up wanting my son."

Peters' son, 19-year-old Damond, was shot and killed six years ago.

“He was lured into a SUV down in the Lower Ninth Ward," she said. "He was shot multiple times and later that night his body was found.”

To this day his death remains unsolved.

“I want to see full justice for my son and I’m going to continue to stand and I’m going to continue to fight until I see full justice because he didn’t deserve it," she said.

However, what's not helpingPeters or others who've lost loved ones in New Orleans, is the fact the city's homicide unit is currently understaffed and overworked.

"We're short because number one, we're a growing department,” said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. “I've promoted a number of people from homicide who are now in different supervisor positions. Some have left and retired some have left to go do other things."

Harrison said he knows the department being short staffed is an issue, but with recent recruitment efforts, it's a problem that can be fixed.

“It takes longer to investigate and you can’t give as much time to any one case you would like to give or that it really deserves," he said. "But that’s just where we are right now, we lost a number of officers over the years but we’re proud we’re growing the department back.”

Peters said she appreciates what law enforcement has done for her, but the community must do more.

“They can’t do it all," she said. "So we have to come together and we have to take a stand and speak out and say enough is enough.”

As she waits for justice, Peters has a message for New Orleans.

"Stand together in love, talk to your neighbor, reach out to one another because we all can't do it by ourselves."

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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