Calling a spade a spade: So Cmdr. Eddie Selby gets in hot water because one of his officers didn't like him pointing out the obvious: The bad guys are probably young black males. The subordinate goes whining to a superior that Selby is using "racial profiling"; Selby gets pulled off his post and is reassigned to headquarters.
Was Selby right? You're damn right he was. Here are the robberies that happened over the weekend where Essence Fest was happening in the French Quarter, CBD, and Marigny Triangle. ALL were committed by black men; all the victims were black, except for one:
- Saturday (7.2.11) 3:55 a.m.: A black thug snatches the purse out of the grasp of a 21-year-old black woman who was walking on Gaiennie and S. Peters streets, near the Convention Center.
- Sunday (7.3.11) 1:55 a.m.: Two black hoodlums pull a pistol on a 31-year-old black man walking on Loyola Avenue near Gravier Street and empty his pockets.
- Sunday (7.3.11) 2:05 p.m.: Two black dudes robbed a black couple, he 35, she 31, who were walking in the 100 block of Exchange Place near Canal Street. One of the robbers pulled a pistol and demanded the man's gold chain and Rolex watch, then told the victims to turn and walk away.
- Monday (7.4.11) 4:05 p.m.: 8th District cops arrested Marcus Hayes, 35, after he accosted a 41-year-old black man on Common Street, between O'Keefe Avenue and Barrone Street. Hayes allegedly showed him a handgun in his waistband and demanded the victim's money. The victim said he didn't have any and Hayes fled on foot.
- Monday (7.4.11) 10:50 p.m.: A gang of 4 black thugs robbed an 18-year-old black fella who was sitting on the library steps at Loyola and Tulane avenues. One asked to use the victim's cellphone while a second pulled a pistol and demanded the victim's money; a third took the victim's wallet from his pants pocket; the other told the victim to walk away.
- Tuesday (7.5.11) 3:15 a.m.: A 28-year-old white guy sitting in the 700 block of Frenchmen Street near Washington Square Park had his iPad snatched from his hands by a young punk who fled in a red 4-door pickup truck toward St. Claude Avenue.
But I can tell you this: In my myriad of private and public conversations with Lt. Selby (so many phone calls that my wife jokingly accused us of carrying on an affair), I never, never heard him make a disparaging remark about a suspect (or black person--virtually the same in my book).
He is one of the most effective cops in the NOPD. Numerous tales abound on how he's tracked down criminals and coaxed them to confess, even so far as getting down on his knees with a suspect and "going to Jesus" to get them to admit guilt.
It was a brilliant stroke on Chief Serpas' part to appoint Selby as commander of the Special Operations Division, to utilize his talents on a broader scale to reduce crime in the city.
(Unfortunately, Selby resigned after 36 years on the NOPD late Wednesday, effective 7.7.11)