Cam Edwards, host of the National Rifle Association’s news show, claimed that after Hurricane Katrina residents of the New Orleans neighborhood Algiers “were looking out for each other by walking the streets armed with firearms.” But according to a federal hate crimes indictment and numerous media reports, after Katrina white gun-toting vigilantes in Algiers targeted African-Americans with racially motivated violence.
Edwards made the comments about Algiers during “The Armed Citizen Files,” a daily segment on his news show Cam & Company that uses anecdotal accounts of self-defense with a gun to create the false impression that guns are used more often to prevent rather than commit crimes. The Katrina comparison came during a discussion of a recent self-defense shooting in Algiers. Edwards praised locals’ “attitude of being able to protect yourself and the ones you love,” and claimed that individuals used firearms after Katrina to make sure “there was no looting, no robbing, no burglaries.”
According to an expose published in The Nation, after Katrina some residents of the largely undamaged Algiers Point — an affluent “white enclave” in the “predominately black” Algiers neighborhood in New Orleans — shot African-Americans who passed through the neighborhood while fleeing the historic storm’s destruction:
Facing an influx of refugees, the residents of Algiers Point could have pulled together food, water and medical supplies for the flood victims. Instead, a group of white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply “didn’t belong.”
In Algiers Point during the days after Katrina “at least eleven people were shot. In each case the targets were African-American men, while the shooters, it appears, were all white,” according to The Nation.
During the most widely reported incident, three African-American men were shot by white vigilantes as they attempted to flee from their nearby destroyed home to a National Guard evacuation point set up in Algiers Point. One of the men was shot through the throat with a shotgun suffering a torn jugular vein, and only was able to receive medical assistance after returning to his own neighborhood.
The other two men, who were lightly wounded by the shotgun, were captured by several white men, one ofwhom yelled, “We got you niggers! We got you niggers!” After threatening their lives the two men were allowed to leave Algiers Point on the understanding they would be killed if they returned.
Source: Media Matters | TIMOTHY JOHNSON