Robert Morris /Uptown Messenger

Kenneth Polite, the new U.S. Attorney charged with overseeing all federal prosecutions in New Orleans, grew up in the Calliope housing projects, but along the way lost a 23-year-old brother to street violence. After his brother's death, Polite recalls walking into his brother's bedroom and seeing the walls lined with pinned-up programs from funerals of his brother's friends who had already been killed.

That environment of death and violence that reaches into the home on a daily basis is the root cause of the decades of staggering murder rates in New Orleans, a panel of experts agreed Tuesday evening during the Tulane University Hillel Center 'The Big Issue' debate.

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