DA calls "security incident" at Juvenile Justice Center a dangerous "riot situation"

Don Ames
August 16, 2019 - 1:23 pm

New Orleans city officials say the Juvenile Justice Center was placed on lockdown Thursday night due to a "security incident" that was "resolved without violence."

But, the DA's office says it was more serious than reported. 

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said the situation was actually a "riot situation" that was "dangerous and out of control."

New Orleans Police Department call logs show that police were dispatched to the center at 9:02 p.m. and but the scene was not cleared until 11:58 p.m.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell came to the prison later that night to speak with the juveniles involved and the support staff.

A New Orleans City Hall statement on the lockdown said: "At least one individual in custody created a security incident...resolved without violence. Due to privacy concerns regarding juveniles, we are not providing additional detail at this time." 

According to Cannizzaro, no arrests have been made in connection with the case. The DA requested that two youth center detainees facing adult charges be transferred to the Orleans Justice Center.

One of those detainees, a 16-year-old, has been charged with second-degree murder.

The District Attorney's full statement reads as follows:

"It is my understanding from police sources that officers responded Thursday night (Aug. 15) to what they described as a riot situation involving detainees within the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center. The disturbance was dangerous and out of control, and not quickly quelled. Yet, it also is my understanding that no arrests have been made in connection with the outbreak.

At the request of an official from the City’s administration, we have this morning asked Criminal District Court judges that two youth center detainees facing charges transferable to the adult court also have their detention transferred to the adult Orleans Justice Center jail effective immediately."

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