A WWL-TV reporter witnessed firsthand how quickly violence can escalate during an interview with several rappers on crime and gun violence in New Orleans.
Reporter and anchor Eric Paulsen was interviewing Kwame Gates, a rapper known as K-Gates who has produced a documentary called “Murda Capital,” and his friend Al, who goes by the rapper name Easy Money, about rap culture and violent crime in New Orleans. As the conversation shifted to gun violence, a man who used to be in a rap group with Easy Money started yelling at the group, saying that Gates should not be in the neighborhood.
Easy Money and one of his friends confronted the man, and a fight broke out. The man was carrying a gun, but no shots were fired.
Althea Phillips, a mother who lost four sons to gun violence, can be heard in the background saying, “This is where the killing starts.”
“I hate to have brought you into that environment, but in hindsight it was a close call because the person who was angry at you and me, had a firearm,” Gates told Paulsen later. “I don’t know why it happened, but I think he was disarming him so it didn’t escalate into something further.”
Last week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a speech calling for greater public awareness and involvement in his administration’s anti-violence and community initiatives, castigating what he argued was a shallow attention to murder that focuses only on high-profile killings. He described cycles of violence in the city as “decades of urban warfare.”
Watch the full WWL-TV video below. Warning: It contains graphic language and imagery.
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