The New Orleans Police Department has deployed anti-looting teams throughout the city — which is currently without power — in an attempt to stop criminals from destroying local businesses as the city
“#NOPD has deployed anti-looting teams across the city in order to protect our citizens’ property as we continue the recovery process,” the department announced in a tweet. “Looting will NOT be tolerated and encourage everyone to be good neighbors and say something when you see something.”
While videos circulated on social media of some New Orleans businesses appearing to be cleaned out by looters, Mayor LaToya Cantrell emphasized at a press conference on Monday that “there is no widespread looting operation going on throughout the city of New Orleans,” and vowed to lock up anyone caught in the act.
Cantrell confirmed that the police department has already arrested some individuals.
“My directive has been very clear: Lock ’em up,” she said. “We will not tolerate it and we have not tolerated it. So we have apprehended those individuals associated with the looting that we have been able to identify, but there is no widespread looting going on in the city of New Orleans.”
She instead chose to highlight the good Samaritan’s who’ve helped their neighbors since the hurricane passed.
“What we do have that’s widespread are residents who are neighbors, who are understanding and exhibiting the spirit of humility, of empathy, who are clearing up their lawns, who are servicing their community. That’s widespread in the city of New Orleans.”
The city suffered widespread damage, including in its iconic French Quarter as a result of the Category 4 hurricane, and the true extent of the damage has yet to be realized.
The storm has claimed the lives of at least two individuals so far.