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Posted by Katy Reckdahl July 17, 2008 6:52AM
On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of children at a community center in Treme ran inside screaming that a lady outside had a gun.

The woman - who according to several witnesses announced that she was a New Orleans police officer - had come to the Treme Community Center to pick up a 7-year-old nephew and, for reasons unknown, became enraged at the driver of the car in front of her in the pickup line, witnesses said.

Numerous witnesses said the woman relentlessly honked her car horn. As the situation escalated, she yelled expletives at the other driver and got halfway out of her car and brandished a gun, they said. At that point one of the witnesses called 911, but several people said the responding officer spoke privately with the angry woman, then said loudly as the two walked together that she should've shot a man who told her to put her gun down because children were present, witnesses said.

Police Department spokesman Bob Young confirmed that a ranking officer responded from the 1st District, but Young said the ranking officer ruled the incident "unfounded" because the officer couldn't find the person who'd dialed 911.

The man who called 911, longtime Treme Center employee Belden "Noonie" Batiste, said the responding officer did not appear interested in his account.

"It's that buddy system. How can children watch that and not develop a distaste for people in uniform?" said Jerome Smith, who has run the center's Tamborine and Fan summer camp for nearly 40 years. "This ugly scene could have escalated to a serious tragedy at our doorstep."

Children, already frightened by the woman's behavior, were then confused when police did nothing, he said. The incident happened about 3 p.m., just after dismissal of Tuesday's session of summer camp, so it was witnessed by at least 20 children, who were playing in the center's playground and standing outside waiting for their parents, Batiste said.

Honking and cursing

According to interviews with Batiste and more than a dozen children, staff and spectators, the woman drove up in a burgundy Jeep and immediately began honking her horn, even though there was ample space for her to drive around.

"The lady kept on blowing; she kept on blowing," said a young girl in an orange shirt, as she and others sat on a row of bleachers and recounted what they'd seen. The woman also yelled a lot and used "bad language," the children said.

Kiyana Howell, 31, was parked in a blue Chevy Tahoe near the Treme Center's front sidewalk on North Villere Street. Howell had five children to retrieve: her son, niece, nephew, godchild and a friend's child, she said. But the driver in the Jeep drove up behind her and kept honking. "I said, 'Damn, don't you see me trying to get my children?' " Howell said.

According to Howell and others interviewed, the woman in the Jeep responded with expletives, saying, "B -- -- , you don't know who you're f -- -ing with."

At that point, she announced, amid more profanities, that she was a 7th District police officer. It was at that point that bystanders saw a black gun in her hand.

Seated in her car, Howell didn't see a gun.

"But she kept inviting me to come to her truck. She was saying, "B -- -- , come over here, come over here," Howell said.

Witnesses said the woman, who was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, then stepped partly out of her Jeep, where her young nephew sat. Her gun was in one hand, partially hidden by the car door, while she taunted Howell with the other, they said.

"She was egging her on," said one girl.

Children run screaming

At the sight of the armed, furious woman, some children ran screaming.

Others stood petrified, said neighbor Linden Lindsey, 28, who stepped in. "She had jumped out of the truck like she was ready to shoot," he said. "And I said, 'Hold up, miss -- they got kids in that truck. Put the gun up.' "

The woman later told the officer responding to the 911 call that Lindsey had threatened her and her nephew. But witnesses said Lindsey was calm and measured as he tried to pacify the woman.

"It was very brave," said camp counselor Doretha Augustus, 56. "She was at the height of her rage and he really defused it so that she got back in her car."

Howell, eager to put some distance between the woman and her children, pulled off. But witnesses said the woman in the Jeep followed her, right on her bumper, still blowing her horn.

When Howell stopped at Esplanade Avenue, she said, the woman pulled alongside her and continued to yell, "You don't know who you're f -- -ing with, b -- -- ," Howell said.

Witnesses said the woman soon returned to the Treme Center, where she intercepted the responding officer, showing him what appeared to be a badge and asking to talk in private, Batiste said.

After a short conversation, the woman and officer walked out together, speaking loudly about the situation. In front of a group of people that included children and staff, the responding officer told the woman, in a loud voice, "You should have blasted that m -- -- -f -- -- -," referring to Lindsey.

After tapping fists, the uniformed officer and the woman who claimed to be an officer walked off, without further comment, witnesses said.

A 7-year-old boy at the center who witnessed the woman's rage said he ran inside the Treme Center and stayed inside for the hour, until his dad arrived. He, like the other children, told his parents about it, but said he was still shaken.

"I hope she doesn't come back," he said.


1,519 Posts
Well if she get's fired, at least she has the right mind-set to get hired at blackwater.

They need to change their signs that say "protect and serve" to "Protect our own".

373 Posts
Someone should have put her in the ground at that scene, threating innocents with a firearm.

Welcome to New Orleans!
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