Salvadoran native plans to live inside Mid-City New Orleans church to avoid deportation

“I have decided to take sanctuary because I have two babies who need me,” he said. “They’re destroying me totally as the father of a family. I feel terrible — they’re removing me from my daughters’ lives. That is why I am fighting against these injustices.” 

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 15, 2017)


New Orleans man locked up nearly 8 years awaiting trial, then drug case gets tossed 

When Kevin Smith was jailed on a drug charge in New Orleans in 2010, Blockbuster was still renting DVDs and President Barack Obama was still trying to pass his signature health care bill.  

Smith’s case never went to a jury.

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 14, 2017)


Many juvenile lifers from New Orleans area get shot at parole — but not without a fight

Kevin Jordan was just a few months over 17 when he leaned out a car window with a revolver and killed a 12-year-old boy who was tinkering with a bike on a street in Mid-City.

Although the death of Wendell McGuffey was front-page news when it happened in 1996, little has been heard of the case since Jordan was sentenced to life in prison. He was supposed to spend the rest of his life there and die without a chance at parole.

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 8, 2017)


New Orleans-area inmates freed weeks or months early begin their new lives

Brian Fallen walked out of a parole office in New Orleans on Wednesday with a mesh bag full of paperwork, a pack of Kool cigarettes and a plan.

“I hope this works this time. I want to make it work,” he said. “I got too old to be fooling around with the crap.”

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 1, 2017)


St. Bernard Parish sheriff, who lost son to overdose, tackles addiction with a helping hand

Pohlmann said the program is not a reaction to his son’s death but a continuation of his longstanding commitment to offering more addiction resources. Still, he said, his son’s struggles gave him a new appreciation for the country’s opioid crisis.

“I’ve seen both sides of it,” Pohlmann said. 

(The New Orleans Advocate, Oct. 22, 2017)


In Gretna, audio allegedly uncovers illegal arrest quota for police

In January 2014, a Gretna police lieutenant pulled one of his subordinates in for a performance review. The lieutenant’s voice was calm but contemptuous.

In an exchange captured on an audio recording, Lt. J.R. Rogers made it clear that the officer needed to make more arrests to keep his job.

“You are held to one arrest — at least one arrest per day.”

(The New Orleans Advocate, Oct. 7, 2017)


Key police report frees inmate serving life in Angola for decades-old killing in deal with Orleans DA

A man serving a life sentence for a decades-old killing in New Orleans was freed from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Friday after his lawyers unearthed a police report that cast doubt on the prosecution’s star witness.

(The New Orleans Advocate, June 16, 2017)


Corey Ladd, man sentenced to 17 years for marijuana possession, to be freed

Corey Ladd’s 5-year-old daughter held her composure through hours of his hearing in state court on Friday. But the moment a judge said he would no longer serve a 17-year sentence for marijuana possession, she broke into tears of joy.

(The New Orleans Advocate, June 9, 2017)


Ex-NOPD officer, with pill addiction kicked, touts marijuana for pain treatment

Jerry Kaczmarek still remembers the moment when his life began hurtling toward addiction. He was sitting in his police cruiser on Race Street writing out a report when the radio crackled with the signal for an armed robbery in progress.

He zipped around the corner onto Magazine Street, only to come car-to-car with the 16-year-old stick-up artist. 

(The New Orleans Advocate, April 22, 2017)