Fifteen gun suspects arrested during Mardi Gras in New Orleans had their cases dropped by Assistant District Attorney Emily Maw from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office.
Maw, who previously worked for Innocence Project New Orleans for 16 years, refused to proceed with the charges unless the weapons seized from those arrested were not returned to them.
Keaton Manghave, charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun and illegal carrying of weapons, was among those whose charges were dropped.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams distanced himself from Maw’s decision, calling it “improper and unrepresentative of office policy.”
Williams pledged to conduct an internal review and take appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
New Orleans has been struggling with a surge in violent crime, with the city becoming the murder capital of the US.
In the first six months of 2022, the city recorded 41 murders per 100,000 population, a higher homicide rate than any other US city, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
In 2022, the city recorded 280 murders, the highest number of killings in a single year since 1996, according to the nonpartisan watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission.
The decisions made by Maw, who was a close ally of Williams, were seized on by Williams’ critics, who questioned the results of his progressive policies.
Maw’s appointment was among several moves made by Williams that aligned with his progressive philosophy on the criminal justice system.
Still, as murders, carjackings, and violent carjackings have increased in the last two years, Williams has pedalled back on some policies, including a promise not to charge juveniles as adults. Despite this, Williams has pledged to conduct an extensive internal review of the cases and take appropriate remedial measures to prevent similar unauthorized activity.»Fifteen gun suspects are arrested during Mardi Gras in New Orleans«