The New Orleans Police Department will no longer release the criminal records of murder victims. The move comes after complaints that the policy only added to the stress of mourning families.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says he believes it’s important to share what he says is an obvious and direct link between criminal behavior and murder. For the past year, the department has released arrest records of suspects and victims when reporting a murder. Complaints surfaced that the policy was creating a divisive atmosphere. Serpas says he decided to change the policy after discussions with clergy. Police will continue releasing the arrest records of murder suspects, but information on victims will be released once a month as an overview and not by an individual’s name.