Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What did they have to fear?

The NYT reports that most of the stories of crime and looting in New Orleans were simply false. In fact, when the NYT tries to come up with horror stories that were actually true, one of the first things they mention are the actions of the Gretna police. This fits a story linked to by No Nym in the comments for my conversation with Harris: empirical data show that cooperation usually increases during disasters. Outbreaks of crime are rare and usually have other causes.

With Katrina, you now seem to be hearing a lot of stories like this:
"I talked to a friend and, after the flood, they heard on the radio that a gang of 400 armed black looters were coming over the bridge to Hanrahan, where he lived," said Ken Bode, a professor of journalism at DePauw University and a former correspondent for NBC. "He and his neighbors were sitting in the street with guns and they decided to load up all they could and caravan out. He said the looters never got there because the National Guard turned them back."

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