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NOPD: 9 crimes, 4 arrests, 3 days, teenagers caught in connection to crime spree in the city

According to Chief Ferguson, there are a few reasons why we continue to see this behavior with young people in the city.

NEW ORLEANS — NOPD Police Chief Shaun Ferguson held a press conference to announce the arrest of four teenagers in connection to 9 crimes that were committed over the course of 3 days.  

The group started on Dec.19 in the late afternoon and kept and going into the early hours of Dec. 21. 

The crimes included armed carjacking, armed robbery and auto theft. 

According to Chief Ferguson, there are a few reasons why we continue to see this behavior with young people in the city. 

Police say 19-year-old Dequantis Ford along with three other teens ranging from 13 to 16-years-old, went on a crime spree over the course of 3 days all around town.

Getting these four off the streets was a high priority for Chief Ferguson: 

“I want to acknowledge and commend the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department more specifically the first, second, third fifth districts, sixth district and our special operations division for mobilizing quickly and collaborating across the districts to stop this group from preying on our community.” 

Chief Ferguson says NOPD continues to be proactive in its investigations of crimes...but there’s only so much his department can do.

“We can make all the arrests that we want, if they’re not prosecuting and being held accountable for their actions, we’re going to continue to be turning our wheels in the same place," said Cheif Ferguson.

He also pointed out a few issues as to this problem of underage crime. 

One, being the parents. 

“We need our parents to step up to know where their kids are and what it is that they are doing," he said.

Another is video games.

“They’re just lost and they look at this like a video game like Grand Theft Auto and they think they can just run up on a car and carjack someone and it’s a game to them.” 

However, according to a 2020 study conducted in the cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking titled Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-year study of longitudinal growth of violent video game play in adolescents,” no correlation was found between games like grand theft auto and real-world violence. 

Chris Turner, the G.M. and coach of the Southern University Law Center E-sports team said people often like to use GTA because “I think they always go to that one because it’s relatable, it’s relatable to what’s going on in real life.” 

However, Turner says he has seen firsthand how video games can be used to keep kids out of trouble and issues this as a challenge for the superintendent to, 

“Do a game night through the police department in your different areas and in your different communities within the city and the outskirts. Just see the positivity of what a game night could bring to the table and far as transparency as far as the kids looking up to the police officer," said Chris Turner.

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