While many of us now realize how over-the-top some of the stories were, and some realized it at the time, it’s also important to realize that at least some of the blame for exaggerated stories lies squarely on the shoulder of Mayor Ray Nagin and New Orleans police commissioner Eddie Compass:
Mayor Ray Nagin said in a memorable appearance September 6, 2005, on Oprah Winfrey’s television show that “hundreds of armed gang members” were terrorizing storm-evacuees inside the Superdome.
The mayor also said conditions there had deteriorated to “an almost animalistic state” and evacuees had been “in that frickin’ Superdome for five days, watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people.”
The police commissioner, Eddie Compass, spoke of other horrors, saying “little babies [were] getting raped” inside the Superdome.
These are the same guys who decided that the best course of action was to disarm law-abiding citizens.