New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell travels to France to support teenager in court

The New Orleans mayor held a press conference Wednesday night where she defended her recent trip to France as well as her decision to support a teenager in court charged with carjacking. Documents obtained by WDSU showed Cantrell spent $43,000 on the trip. A total of $17,000 was spent on his thefts. Cantrell said the trip was necessary to promote the city of New Orleans. Cantrell said the trip allowed her to market the city, which she says has still not recovered from the impacts of COVID-19. According to Cantrell, she chose the $17,000 flights for her safety. She said she didn’t think her ticket price was exorbitant. Documents show that Cantrell’s security did not fly first class, but economy class to France. Cantrell has come under fire from the community for her trip amid a recent spike in violent crime. She canceled a trip planned earlier this month to Singapore to stay home and address staffing issues within the NOPD. Cantrell also opened up about his decision to support a teenager charged with carjacking in New Orleans. A 13-year-old boy has been found guilty of hijacking five people in two days with a fake gun. His sentence is three years probation. Crime victims were left devastated when they said Cantrell was consoling the boy and his family after last week’s sentencing. According to Cantrell, part of his job is to provide programs and solutions for at-risk youth. She spoke about her work in a program called Pathways, which works with children and teens involved in the system and provides them with resources and life skills to get back on track. Cantrell said the teenager’s family asked her to be there to support him and that this was not the first time she had supported a teenager from the program in court. According to Cantrell, she did not “choose sides” and does not receive the names of victims on a list after the crimes have been committed. She said she is open to receiving this type of list to provide resources to victims. Cantrell said the Pathways program invests in long-term impact on crime by putting children and teens on a better path, which she says will help reduce crime in the future. She said she has no regrets supporting a young person who was ready to make better decisions. Madison Bergeron, one of the teenager’s victims, called the mayor’s statement a proverbial slap in the face. Bergeron said Cantrell’s statements were condescending and did not support her statement that she had no way to reach out to victims. “She hasn’t contacted us once. She says she has no way,” Bergeron said. “As mayor of the city, you certainly have a way to contact me. There are many ways to contact someone if you don’t have their phone number.”

The New Orleans mayor held a press conference Wednesday night where she defended her recent trip to France as well as her decision to support a teenager in court charged with carjacking.

Documents obtained by WDSU showed Cantrell spent $43,000 on the trip. A total of $17,000 was spent on his thefts.

Cantrell said the trip was necessary to promote the city of New Orleans.

Cantrell said the trip allowed her to market the city, which she says has still not recovered from the impacts of COVID-19.

According to Cantrell, she chose the $17,000 flights for her safety. She said she didn’t think her ticket price was exorbitant.

Documents show that Cantrell’s security did not fly first class, but economy class to France.

Cantrell has come under fire from the community for her trip amid a recent spike in violent crime.

She canceled a trip planned earlier this month to Singapore to stay home and address staffing issues within the NOPD.

Cantrell also opened up about his decision to support a teenager charged with carjacking in New Orleans.

A 13-year-old boy has been found guilty of hijacking five people in two days with a fake gun. His sentence is three years probation.

Crime victims were left devastated when they said Cantrell was consoling the boy and his family after last week’s sentencing.

According to Cantrell, part of his job is to provide programs and solutions for at-risk youth.

She spoke about her work in a program called Pathways, which works with children and teens involved in the system and provides them with resources and life skills to get back on track.

Cantrell said the teenager’s family asked her to be there to support him and that this was not the first time she had supported a teenager from the program in court.

According to Cantrell, she did not “choose sides” and does not receive the names of victims on a list after the crimes have been committed. She said she is open to receiving this type of list to provide resources to victims.

Cantrell said the Pathways program invests in long-term impact on crime by putting children and teens on a better path, which she says will help reduce crime in the future.

She said she has no regrets supporting a young person who was ready to make better decisions.

Madison Bergeron, one of the teenager’s victims, called the mayor’s statement a proverbial slap in the face.

Bergeron said Cantrell’s statements were condescending and did not support her statement that she had no way to reach out to victims.

“She hasn’t contacted us once. She says she has no way,” Bergeron said. “As mayor of the city, you certainly have a way to contact me. There are many ways to contact someone if you don’t have their phone number.”

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