Violence near Confederate monuments leads to safety questions as protests brew

Jacqueline Quynh talks about safety concerns at protests concerning the Confederate monuments,

NEW ORLEANS - The threats and chaos that have erupted near the Jefferson Davis monument have led some to question their safety.

Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with a man named KK, who says he is a Confederate monument supporter.  He says the threats against him have been so serious, he's choosing to arm himself with a rifle and several magazines.

"After what happened last night it's necessary," he said.

MORE: Protesters chant, burn flags at Jefferson Davis monument

Because Louisiana is an open carry state, and because he's not within 1000 feet of a school, it's legal.  But to some who are against the monuments, the display is worrisome. 

"With the violence and everything to me it's just disgraceful it shows me how much we have not moved ahead as a society," said one resident.

ALSO: Two Confederate monuments vandalized overnight

Some threats are also surfacing online. We asked NOPD if they were investigating. They emailed back saying:

"The NOPD is making all decisions regarding enforcement and security measures based on public safety. The commanders on the ground at the protests are empowered to engage as necessary to protect the safety of protestors on both sides, and to protect public property. Our commanders are responding to a fluid security situation, and will make the determination as to how and when to engage based on what best protects our officers and the public."

Still, some fear something serious could happen. Eyewitness News political analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos, who's been tracking politics for decades, said Mayor Mitch Landrieu could handle things differently.

"I think the Mayor is leaving himself open to criticism by not providing more definition in terms of where these monuments are going to end up eventually," said DuBos.

WWL-TV also reached out to all the City Councilmembers who voted 6-1 to take down the monuments and asked if they were happy with the way things are playing out.

Except for Councilmember Gray, all others were either unavailable or declined to comment.

"I don't know enough about the details about finding contractors to take it down to know whether or not it could have been quicker or not," said District E Councilmember James Gray.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been tight-lipped about when they're coming down. When asked for more details, he hinted it would not be this week.

"We're also in the middle of Jazz Fest," Landrieu said. "We have a lot of people doing a lot of different things so I would just tell people out there who are freaking out about everything don't believe every rumor."

So, for now, the wait continues.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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