Saturday, October 6, 2007

This week's must-read: Art is a poor imitation of life

In a fantastic interview from The Morning News, Sarah Hepola listens to New Orleans Police Lieutenant Brian Wininger vent about the new show K-ville, cops that deserted after the hurricane, political corruption, and other things unique to being a cop in a city still far from rebuilt.

"I think [K-Ville] would be too slow if they showed how it really is. How you gotta work in a trailer with mold in it. How, after two years, stations aren’t even done yet. Half the time the toilets don’t work. Men are paying to have port-o-lets cleaned out....

"[After the storm,] all the news showed was rampant looting. First off, we had no jail. Secondly, we never knew if officers in the next district were alive. What we had was controlled chaos, the biggest national disaster to ever hit a city in this country and there weren’t many people shot or stabbed. Looters weren’t fighting among themselves. We were more concerned with saving people. Life first, property second, always. The city leaders and chiefs should be praising the men and women who stayed to this day because we did it on our own. No help from above. I think the city gave us about 96 bottles of water. If it hadn’t been for small groups of police, fire, National Guard, and citizens there would have been 5,000 people dead. A lot of New York City cops told me 9/11 was easy compared to what we went through.

These [police] stations, I could have had them done by now. I could have gone to Lowe’s and picked up a bunch of Spanish-speaking guys and had them sheetrock the place. It’s been two years. How come nobody’s screaming?"

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