French Quarter Minutemen Float Plan for Armed Citizens Crime Watch Group

david oestreicher photo, new orleans lawyer on wdsu tvA new citizens group wants to form in the French Quarter, and its goal is to make the world famous neighborhood a safer place.

The group calls itself the French Quarter Minutemen, an all volunteer organization made up of people who live in, work in or frequent the French Quarter, and who want to add eyes and ears to improve safety and reduce crime. The unique aspect of this group? All volunteers possess concealed carry handgun permits.

“Aaron Jordan, the founder of this group, asked me to support them in an advisory role,” says attorney David Oestreicher. “I was willing to work with them in an advisory capacity, but I’m not advocating for citizens to carry weapons.”

This philosophical difference, led Oestreicher to decline any activity with the group.

The group was founded by Jordan, who says his inspiration for the group came after jazz musician Doug Potter was severely beaten by two men in the heart of the Quarter following a gig one night last year, … just outside of the Eight District Police station.

Oestreicher has a unique perspective on crime in the French Quarter. He’s a French Quarter property and business owner, a long-time New Orleanian, a lawyer with decades of experience, and he also served in the NOPD’s Reserve Officer force. 

He understands the pressures on law enforcement, the concerns of citizens, and has the legal acuity to be responsive in a broad picture sense. 

Oestreicher says what he does support is a common interest in making the Quarter and New Orleans a safer place.

Due to Louisiana’s open carry law, WVUE-TV Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti said what the group is trying to do, is legal.

“The problem may come when a gun is pulled out or waved at somebody — that’s when a whole bunch of other laws kick in and start applying. That’s where the grease hits the fire,” Raspanti said.

That’s one reason why French Quarter resident and crime blogger Thom Kahler believes, ultimately, the plan could lead to problems.

“If you get a citizen here who thinks he’s a marksman or something, and who knows where the bullets are going to go,” Kahler said.

WDSU News (Channel 6, New Orleans) posted a report on the French Quarter Minute Men, view its video at WDSU.com

WVUE Fox 8 also posted a report on this story, view online at Fox8Live.com

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