‘The average person in Baton Rouge should feel safe:’ Mayor Broome discusses recent spike in violence

It has been an extremely violent and deadly past few days in Baton Rouge, with more than a dozen people shot, and at least five people killed.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:47 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It has been an extremely violent and deadly past few days in Baton Rouge, with more than a dozen people shot, and at least five people killed.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome called the crime spike ‘concerning.’ She said it’s the reason why they need to continue with crime prevention programs like her ‘Summer of Hope.’

“Indeed, we cannot ignore the spike that has taken place with crime,” said Mayor Broome.

The violence started late Saturday night, May 20, and it has not slowed down since.

“I’m committed to reducing crime and making this a safe priority, and I believe initiatives that we have in place are certainly getting us in the right direction,” explained Mayor Broome.

The mayor said she’s received new information from Police Chief Murphy Paul about the motivation behind some of these recent shootings.

“Many of them, of course, were people who knew people, some were self-defense, etc. But at the end of the day, we have to continue to move forward with our trajectory of initiatives like ‘Summer of Hope,’ to continue to decrease the homicides and the violence in our community,” added Mayor Broome.

She also said before this spike took place, her data from law enforcement showed a 40% decrease in homicides so far this year in 2023. Here is some of that data from the East Baton Rouge Parish Gun Violence Collaborative.

“We have to recognize that the individuals who oftentimes are engaged in criminal activity or violence are not people that the average citizen would be engaged with,” said Mayor Broome.

Mayor Broome said she cannot ignore the fact that some people do not feel safe in her city-parish, however, that’s why it’s crucial to continue the work on programs and initiatives to reduce violence.

What do you say to those folks who don’t feel safe in Baton Rouge?

“For those individuals who don’t feel safe, as I’ve said, and I’ve heard our district attorney say this, the average person should feel safe because of the people they are connected with. If you’re connected with people who may be engaging in bad behavior, then the likelihood of you having an incident intensifies. But the average person in Baton Rouge should feel safe. I firmly believe that we have to look out for our neighbors, which we do in my neighborhood. I think all neighborhoods have to be attentive to one another. But overall, I believe that Baton Rouge is a safe community, we have work to do, we’re doing the work, and we look forward to positive outcomes,” said Mayor Broome.

Broome said the city is still on a good trajectory to decrease the homicide count in 2023.

To take a look at BRPD’s Crime Trends Analysis dashboard for the year, click here.

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