Juvenile Justice Intervention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
August 15, 2019
SWAT teams responded to a “disturbance” at the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center in New Orleans. Officials differed on the details of the incident.
Initial police radio communications stated there were seven youth armed with knives though Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who showed up to the scene shortly after the call was placed, stated that the youth were not armed with knives.
In a prepared statement the mayor stated, “they didn’t have any knives. It was not a riot at all, but it was disruption and the staff’s inability to address the inmates at the time.”
Earlier accounts of the event differed from what the mayor stated, however. Cantrell’s newly-appointed director of the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center, Kyshun Webster, stated that three inmates locked themselves inside a cell, fashioned homemade weapons, and threatened staff at the facility.
“We had an incident where three youths locked themselves into a facility and made homicidal threats to the staff, and we had knowledge that they had homemade weapons that could pose a danger to themselves and the staff,” Webster said
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s description of events differed even more from the other accounts. He said police sources told him there had in fact been a riot.
“The disturbance was dangerous and out of control, and not quickly quelled,” Cannizzaro said in a press statement.
Emergency call records indicated police were dispatched to the scene at 9:00, arrived at 9:02 and remained on the scene almost three hours, until 11:58 p.m.
“Mayor: No riot, no knives at Juvenile Justice Center; DA disagrees“, WWLTV, August 16, 2019.
“NOPD SWAT Team called to Juvenile Justice Intervention Center for an ‘incident’“, Fox 8, August 16, 2019.
“DA calls “security incident” at Juvenile Justice Center a dangerous “riot situation’“, WWL, August 16, 2019.
Article published: 8/19/19. Updated 8/21/19.
Header photo source: Fox 8