NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that an incident caught on tape at a weekend concert was her intervening as a peacemaker in a dispute between two women and that it ended with hugs and further problems avoided.
Addressing the incident at a Tuesday press conference, Cantrell said that she did have security with her at the concert, but that they were male and didn’t accompany her into the restroom.
A Twitter post of the incident said that it occurred at the Fillmore New Orleans Saturday night at a Rob49 concert.
She said that once inside, she saw a young woman looking for a pair of eyeglasses that had been knocked off of her head during an altercation with another woman. She said that woman asked Cantrell if she could see a knot on her head and the mayor told her she could.
Cantrell said she advised the woman to calm down, “Although she hit you, let’s deal with it appropriately. Let’s not retaliate. We don’t need that. We’re not doing that.”
Then Cantrell said she met with a woman leaving a stall and that was the woman who had knocked the other lady’s glasses off.
Cantrell said the woman was upset from a dispute with her own teenage daughter. She said the woman told her that she had spent some of her last dollars to buy her daughter a ticket to the concert and felt disrespected by her daughter and was tired and had to be at work at 5:30 a.m. the next day.
That was the part caught on camera. Cantrell said that it did start with some strong words being exchanged. “When you have an incident and you are trying to de-escalate, sometimes the first thing you see is escalation," Cantrell said.
The woman, moments later, explained the situation to the mayor and even asked to find the woman she had struck to apologize, according to the mayor.
“I was able to de-escalate,” she said.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a constant reminder that people are dealing with so much and the mental health of our people needs to be a top priority. Parenting is like a walk in the park – Jurassic Park.”
Cantrell said the exchange ended with a hug and a kiss, but she said she didn’t get the woman’s information and would like to find her to follow up on how she is doing.
“Mayor Cantrell intervened to diffuse [sic] a potentially violent situation. Upon witnessing an altercation, the Mayor acted in a manner in which she always implores our residents: if you see something, do something,” Gregory Joseph, director of communications, said in a written statement issued the morning after the incident.