Leon Cannizzaro

last updated 1/4/2018

Leon Cannizzaro

District Attorney at Uptown Messenger

Recent News  

Danae Columbus - Uptown Messenger

In remarks delivered at the Criminal Justice Conference on Sexual Assault yesterday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro blasted New Orleans city leaders for "working from the Neville Chamberlain manual of war planning.

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Danae Columbus: District attorney compares New Orleans city leaders to Neville Chamberlain - Uptown Messenger

In remarks delivered at the Criminal Justice Conference on Sexual Assault yesterday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro blasted New Orleans city leaders for "working from the Neville Chamberlain manual of war planning.
Cannizzaro has been in a battle with Mayor Landrieu and the City Council regarding a crippling 10 percent budget cut ($600,000) his department took in the city's 2017 budget. Cannizzaro says the budget cuts are making it more difficult for his office to try and successfully win cases, especially those that require more financial resources. Cannizzaro cites as example this week's court case involving Christopher Smith who beat California tourist Doug David so savagely that David is permanently paralyzed. "Without full funding it puts a lot more pressure on us," Cannizzaro said. "But our staff members are sticking around and taking on additional responsibilities." While Cannizzaro was adjusting to the budget cuts last week, Mayor Landrieu announced a new $40 million crime prevention program that will include a centralized command center, cameras in 20 neighborhoods, more parking control officers, mobile surveillance cameras, license plate readers, better controlling early morning street parties and many other features. "This is the part of the speech where I'm supposed to tell you that city leaders are aware of the problem and are aggressively formulating a strategy to bring the fight to the violent criminals who are presenting turning the city of New Orleans into a shooting gallery - but it just isn't so," said Cannizzaro to conference attendees. Cannizzaro can rationalize Landrieu's desire to put more police resources on the street in an effort to deter and detect crime. Yet he questions Landrieu's real commitment to prosecuting violent criminals. "I'm disappointed by the almost defeatist attitude on the part of the City's administration. They are putting a lot of money in arresting criminals but not in prosecuting criminals. It's very important that the police go out there and make good cases utilizing the latest technology." Yet, if Cannizzaro lacks the resources to adequately prosecute all the cases because of staffing and budget issues, the effort falls "far short of getting violent criminals off the street. Cannizzaro says the situation is a cautionary tale of America's failed urban policy that includes more arrests but fewer prosecutors. "This debate is about a lot more than $600,000. Funding is the best expression of policy and priorities," explained Cannizzaro.

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Teen who shot feral cat on Freret pleads guilty to animal-cruelty charge - Uptown Messenger

The teen arrested on charges of shooting a feral cat outside the Zeus' Place pet-care center pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, and will be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation as a result, announced District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
"Mr. West deserves to pay for his outrageous actions against a defenseless animal, and we applaud the seriousness of the sentence imposed by Judge Zibilich," Cannizzaro said in a news release.

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