Images continue to surface showing a group of five boys, ranging in age from nine to 15, wreaking havoc in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods of New Orleans.
They are accused in a string of home and business burglaries, robberies and other crimes.
One new video shows one of the youngsters throwing a stool at an employee at Bud Rips on Piety Street after they were chased out of the bar. Last week, the NOPD arrested the kids coming out of a house that police said they had just burglarized.
Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans Kenneth Polite said when he heard about the month-long crime spree one of his first thoughts was, these kids need help.
"We should be trying to intervene in the lives of those most at risk young people as early as possible," Polite said. "This particular incident involved nine year olds. I was struck by their age, how small they were."
Nadra Enzi said he took pictures of the boys being disruptive at the Healing Center Co-Op on St. Claude Avenue over the Memorial Day weekend. He maintains before you solve the environmental pressures causing the kids to act out, you have to first hold them accountable.
"The people of the Marigny and St. Roch where I'm the Vice President for the neighborhood association, they want opportunity, they want prevention, they want intervention with youth, but they also don't want to be beaten up and robbed in the streets," Enzi said.
New Orleans defense attorney Robert Jenkins has been urging state and local leaders for years to pass laws holding parents or guardians more accountable for crimes their children commit.
"Many of the families we're talking about holding parents accountable or the guardians, they don't fear jail, they've gone in and out," Jenkins said. "I'm saying it because we've seen it. So, it has to be some type of financial things that going to be hit very hard. A fine, quickly."
Polite said the issue of juvenile justice requires us to pull a number of levers including enforcement, early detection and family support.
"What are you doing is often times the question I posed to individuals, in your communities, in your churches, in your schools to actually change the trajectory for the life of a young person," Polite said. "Focusing on education as a critical aspect of preserving public safety is something that we have to invest in.
Police did not release the names of the five boys because of their ages.