NOPD breaking up hundreds of gatherings, considering curfew

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
April 03, 2020 - 12:05 pm

New Orlean Police Chief Shawn Ferguson says they are breaking up hundreds of gatherings and pleading with people to take the coronavirus stay home and social distancing orders more seriously.  

Cops are considering stronger actions to get more people to comply.

"Thus we have responded to as many as 800 calls since we started tracking this just over a week ago," the chief reported.

Ferguson says they are issuing citations and making arrests when they have to.

He understands the New Orleans culture is working against their efforts.

"We are huggers, we are embraces, we are hand shakers.  We share food, drinks, spirits with one another; with our neighbors, with our friends, with out family, but now is not that time to do so."

The chief also pleaded with people to go home and stay there at night.  He said everyone should be inside after 9:00pm.

"We have not issued a curfew as of yet."

Ferguson insisted, though, that is not off the table.

He specifically said people need to stop playing sports like basketball and football as well as gathering outside of businesses, even ones that are open.

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