New Orleans is famous for its Second Lines, informal open-to-all parades that accompany funerals and social club processions.
The New Orleans Police Deparment provides security for these parades as well as for Mardi Gras Krewes and other public events and bills the parade sponsors.
What’s not fair is the billing system, or the lack of one. The law limits what the NOPD can charge a Carnival Krewe: $750.
There is no limit – or rational guidelines – on what the police can charge other events like funerals and social clubs.
For example, the Helen Hill funeral parade was charged $1,175. In contrast, the parade for Dinneral Shavers was charged $3,610 for its parade.
Now, the NOPD has proposed charging the Original Pigeontown Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club $7,560 to provide security for its upcoming Easter Parade.
This is the epitome of injustice and makes no sense in a city where the second line tradition is not only a force for good, but practically defines the city’s culture.
The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the fee system in court. Good.