New Orleans police told to "take back the city" by shooting looters, post-Katrina

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina slashed through New Orleans, the city's police department allegedly received the order to "take back the city" by shooting looters. The joint investigation revealing this points to a meeting where the department's second-in-command at the time told a group of senior officers to shoot people stealing, and a video clip where a police captain tells officers, "We have authority by martial law to shoot looters."


  • theGrio's Kristen Clarke delves into the racial changes in New Orleans' post-Katrina political landscape. A white mayor, elected in February, leads New Orleans for the first time in three decades. His main opposition, a black candidate named Edwin Murray, dropped out at the last minute; some say because his mostly-black supporters generally dealt with too many financial obstacles post-Katrina to fundraise. The city council, which has had a black majority since 1985, now five of its seven members are white.
  • The Business Insider lists Illinois as one of the states most severely slapped with recent layoffs. With new jobless claims nearly hitting 11,000 in July alone, Illinois only beat out five other states for worst unemployment situation. At the same time, Illinois' birth rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1933, which some experts say shows financial strain is causing couples to postpone having children.
  • Illinois' five largest employee pension funds may need to sell up to 10 percent of their assets in order to compensate for what the state owes them.  Democratic leaders recommended the state borrow the money, but Republicans are refusing.
  • The city of Chicago is increasing funds for small businesses by funneling $2 million more their way and lowering its minimum loan limit. The extra money comes at a time where 41 percent of small business owners cannot obtain adequate financing, according to the article.

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