On the television show Homicide, this was called a "red ball"_lowres


From angry celebrity David Simon's book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, upon which the show was based, "red-ball case," meaning a politically sensitive case that the media is following:

"A red-ball case can mean twenty-hour days and constant reports to the entire chain of command; it can become a special detail, with detectives pulled out of the regular rotation and other cases put on indefinite hold."

From the NOLA Info press release machine:

FBI Offers to Assist in Identifying and Locating Carjacking/Murder Suspect

(January 26, 2012)- FBI Agents will meet with New Orleans homicide detectives this afternoon to assist in identifying and locating the man suspected of killing an Algiers father yesterday morning.

Agents contacted New Orleans police yesterday to offer their help, and detectives accepted the offer because of all the FBI brings to the table.

44-year-old Harry “Mike” Ainsworth was gunned down yesterday morning shortly after 7 as his two young sons looked on. The incident happened in the 500-block of Vallette Street. Ainsworth had been waiting with his kids for their school bus when he saw a carjacking in progress. He ran to the car and jumped on its hood to stop the gunman from driving off. Instead, the suspect shot at Ainsworth, striking him in the chest. Ainsworth ran a few feet from the car, collapsed in someone’s front yard and died on the scene. The gunman quickly jumped out of the car and fled on foot.

“We are grateful that a number of people in this neighborhood approached police to tell us what they saw”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “Because of their eye witness accounts, we were able to put together a composite sketch of the man we believe committed this unthinkable crime.”

(The rest of the press release, including Ainsworth's arrest record after the jump)

Mr. Ainsworth was a longtime supporter and volunteer to the NOPD’s COPS 8 program, which provides assistance to the officers of the 8th District. The members of the 8th District station sincerely appreciated his efforts to fix up the station by painting and repairing various things in the building. He’ll be missed.”

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 inches tall and weighs between 140-150 pounds. He was wearing something dark on his head that could have been baseball cap or a bandana. A sketch of this suspect is attached to this release.

If you believe you’ve seen the suspect, please call Crimestoppers at (504)822-1111. You do not have to give your name, and if your tip helps lead to an arrest and subsequent indictment of the suspect, you could be eligible for a $5000 cash reward.

Ainsworth’s prior arrests included Distribution of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana 1st and 2nd Offense, Distribution of LSD, Disturbing the Peace, Driving on a Suspended Driver's License, Reckless Operation, Misrepresentation of Name. He was also on Probation from 11/6/2006-11/6/2008 for Possession of Marijuana. He was also on Probation for Distribution of LSD from 3/17/1987-10/23/1989.

That last bit, the record, was released after the Lens published this story. It took NOPD more than a day. The department's last victim arrest record release, for one of these two men found dead in the 7th Ward, took three hours.