NEW ORLEANS — A week after Mayor LaToya Cantrell sparked a firestorm of criticism over her court appearance in support of the family of a juvenile carjacker, the victims of the crime are speaking out, calling for the Mayor to apologize.
When we first spoke to Stephanie Uddo she asked us to protect her identity.
“I just wanted to scream at the TV and be like 'what about us?'" she said. "She made us feel like victims all over again.”
A week and a firestorm of controversy later, the mayor’s response encouraged Uddo to show people who she is, saying, “I felt fearful that someone who can’t take accountability for their actions is the one that’s leading our city.”
Cantrell said Wednesday that the family of the convicted teen asked for her support.
“I was able to touch them and show them some level of level of not only concern but a level of love," she said.
Uddo responded with, “She said she started of by saying she showed us a lot of love, and that was very triggering for me because given the fact that love is a very heavy word. A tap or a rub, whatever you may call it… doesn’t really feel like a lot of love, when we’ve been asking for more love after the trial.”
Mayor Cantrell saying on Wednesday, “I did say god bless you, that means something to me, may be not to you, but that means something to me. Not only touching them, but I rubbed them, but that’s my way, the best that I could do in that moment.”
But Uddo says, “She said she is a very spiritual person, part of spirituality is recognizing that you hurt somebody and she hurt us very badly.”
Madison Bergeron says when she was reading her victim impact statement, Mayor Cantrell walked out.
“For her to say that I was saying a Hail Mary and you may not know that, well we didn’t know," Bergeron said. "You never once told us that you were supporting us with your thoughts and prayers which at the end of the day are not enough in this case anymore.”
She went on to say, “Her walking out mid impact statement and not saying a word to me is not support.”
The Mayor showed up in court to support the juvenile involved in three carjacking's. He’s been sentenced to participate in her Pathways program. A program meant to prevent young people who've committed crimes, from offending again. According to the City, 61 students have graduated, five of them committed another crime.
Bergeron saying, “If this program really is supporting him, he’s doing well then good for him, I am happy, I am glad he is getting the help he needs… if she’s going to support all of that, where is the same support for the victims.”
Mayor Cantrell having no regrets, saying, “I do not regret supporting a young person that has demonstrated that they’re willing to make better decisions.”
Bergeron saying, “If she wants to right this wrong, then that’s exactly what she needs to do, she’s going to actually show support and apologize to us.”
Both women say the Mayor has not reached out and are calling for the her to apologize.
Uddo saying, “If she cant be a proper human in this and recognize she is wrong… what does that say for the next three years.”