New Orleans mayor calls for end to federal oversight of police

New Orleans mayor calls for end to federal oversight of police

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell called for an end to a decade of federal oversight of the city's police, saying officers are in handcuffs and leaving the force.

The department, working under the terms of a consent decree in 2012 to end corruption and questionable use-of-force tactics, has made enough strides in recent years to break free of supervision, according to the mayor.

Cantrell told reporters that the consent decree handcuffs our officers by making their jobs harder, pestering them with punitive punishment and burying them with paperwork that is an overburden.

The men and women of our police department, our officers, are not responsible for getting us into a consent decree, but they have been responsible for the results that have been shown. Cantrell said officers are retiring and leaving the force because of the consent decree. She didn't cite any numbers during her lengthy meeting with reporters.

A mayoral spokeswoman didn't say anything about police staffing levels when reached by NBC News. A police department spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Separations are aligned with the consent decree that means they're leaving because of it, it's overburdensome, the mayor said.

A U.S. Department of Justice representative didn't want to make a statement Thursday.

Last month, Claude Schlesinger, a retired police lieutenant and now a lawyer for the Council of Fraternal Order of Police New Orleans, said the force is hemorrhaging, according to New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU.

Schlesinger said it was awful, and we lost over 80 officers so far this year. We are close to 900 at the moment, down from 1,740 in the time of Katrina. He said that we need to stop the hemorrhaging.