“New Orleans was a disaster site before Katrina. So far that year, 202 people had been murdered. Computer models predicted that about 107 more were going to be killed before the year was out. “We were watching the lid come off,” says Peter Scharf, a University of New Orleans criminologist. At that rate, not only would New Orleans have once again ranked as deadlier than New York City or Los Angeles, but it would also have been so much more violent that it really belonged in another country altogether. By the time Katrina hit, most law-enforcement types in the city had come to an unpleasant conclusion: no amount of arrests would stanch the murder rate. Somewhere along the way, despite the best efforts of techno-cop Chief Richard Pennington in the 1990s, despite tens of thousands of arrests for drug and quality-of-life crimes, violence had become normalized."
Time Magazine The Gangs Of New Orleans