By Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr.



As I write this update for Inquisitor readers, it is heavy on my heart that in the early Sunday morning hours of April 7, 2024, sadly the 19th homicide in Caddo Parish in 2024 was committed. The next day’s The Advocate newspaper ran a sobering headline that “Baton Rouge is on pace to match its deadliest year for homicides In the first three months of 2024,” as there had been 36 homicides to date in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2024. In 2021, Baton Rouge’s most murderous year ever, there were 35 homicides in the same time period.


In the article, Baton Rouge city leaders  noted – identical to the concerns of Shreveport leaders – “the increase of targeted crimes and younger homicide victims.”


“Targeted crime”’ is what I would plainly term “retaliation” shootings.


My dear friend East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hilar Moore II confirmed in the article that his office “continues to see an increase in group retaliatory activity and the use of illegal fully automatic firearms.”   Said DA Moore, “Our violence continues, with minimal exception, to be highly concentrated amongst people and places where historically we have seem such violence. Murder is rarely random.”


“Although we talk about crime as  a police issue, it is much more than that,” Moore said. “It is mostly a community, family, neighborhood, and truly a governmental issue … Everything starts in the home.”


To DA Moore’s statement, I stand and say a huge  “Amen!”


I share The Advocate’s article with you to show how similarly these problems plague a few neighborhoods throughout our state’s larger cities.  And how these problems persist no matter the name, race or political party of the District Attorney, the region of the state, the names or political parties of the Judges , the economy of the city or area, or the “fun things to do” or “lack of fun things to do” in a city or  area.  It is a people problem; a morality problem; a culture problem; a gang problem; a severe shortage of police officer problem; a domestic violence problem; a male role model problem; a single-parent household problem; an ease of automatic weapons in teenaged hands problem. And so many other problems that could be named not isolated to any single metropolitan area.


My Assistant District Attorneys, staff, law enforcement and the Caddo Parish Judges have worked tirelessly to bring justice to victims.  We have much positive news to share about our efforts in the courtrooms in 2023. With only five criminal court judges (in comparison East Baton Rouge Parish has nine criminal court judges) we obtained convictions in over 5,000 criminal cases and 1,793 felony cases in adult court. We also conducted 60 jury trials, setting a record for the most jury trials since 2008. In 2023, I want you to know that my office also had:


* 39 homicide convictions

* 453 violent crime convictions

* 150 youthful (aged 17-24) violent crime convictions

* 164 possession of a firearm by a convicted felon convictions. Almost all received a five year or greater sentence.

* 420 domestic violence convictions

* 22 juveniles transferred from Juvenile Court to be prosecuted as an adult

* the number of juveniles necessitating truancy petitions in court dropped from 445 in 2021 and 465 in 2022, to 355 in 2023.


However, remaining of great concern to me, we had


* 1,810 criminal cases at juvenile court

* 595 felony cases at juvenile court

* 215 guns and weapons cases at juvenile court


Clearly, much remains to be done in our homes and community regarding teenaged boys and guns.  In 2023 I began a mentoring and reading program involving the African-American local ministers fellowship  of Shreveport to reach into their communities to reach at-risk youth  with life skills, literacy, and mentoring.  It is located at The Harbor, a one-stop shop collaboration of the Volunteers for Youth Justice, the Caddo Parish School Board, and my office. Located on Knight Street, it finally opened in 2023 after many years of effort and planning, to house under one roof youth tutoring, counseling, school uniform,  and parenting programs.


Our efforts, as well as those by our brothers and sisters in the DA offices and law enforcement in Baton Rouge and throughout our state, continue in 2024 with diligence and adherence to the Constitution of the United States of America.


If you have a youth in need of literacy, mentoring, or life skills training, please call Upskills Literacy Program at The Harbor (318)725-2265.


If you have information on a crime, please contact Crime Stoppers of Shreveport at (318) 673-7373.


If you are  a victim of domestic violence and need help, please call the District Attorney’s of Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center at (318) 584-7171.