June 28th, 2016
Ladies and Gentleman, my name is Danil Faust and before I begin, I beg that you respect my ignorance. I have lived and worked in the French Quarter for over 6 years. To you these people are headlines, to me they were friends and family.
Jaren Lockhart. Jaren was butchered and dismembered in June 2012, by her co-workers Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez.. Terry was a convicted rapist. Margaret had been involved in a murder before. I worked with Terry Speaks for approximately 2 months before this incident.
Ahmad Sheppard, shot in cold blood. His case made national news and was highlighted on First 48.
Jasilas Wright. Jasilas was a 19 year old dancer who left the club with her associate after work. He is awaiting trial for 2nd degree Manslaughter, not pimping. I worked with her that night.
Brandon Robinson, shot in cold blood on November 28th, 2015 in the middle of Bourbon street during Bayou Classic. He had just celebrated the birth of his daughter 4 days earlier.
And there are so many more of my friends who have fallen victim to crime and drugs and not one has died due to prostitution.
But rather than focus on the crime that permeates every corner of the Vieux Carre, the City Council has come to the opinion that it is these clubs are somehow to blame, citing the findings of the Covenant House Study and the results of Operation Trick or Treat. I too will cite these results..
- The number of girls in the study who were approached to engage in sex work while staying at Covenant House by someone AT the Covenant House. One respondent had stated she had seen a girl leave with a recruiter.
- That’s also the number of videos containing underage boys engaging in bestiality that Christopher G. Young, attorney representing multiple clubs on Bourbon during operation Trick or Treat, had sent with his cell phone. Undoubtedly many here knew him since he worked closely with the ATC and the National Beer League. I ask, if you could not see his illness, how are we to blame when we do not see the illness of others we work with?
- The number of my friends who tried to stop Brandon from bleeding out.
- The number of dancers that had worked under the age of 18. If the CPC couldn’t enforce age restrictions before, how do they expect laws to work now?
1 out of 3. The number respondents solicited for sexual services on Bourbon. You must understand this, 1 out 3 girls who walk down Bourbon will be approached for sexual services. 1 out of 3 girls under 21 unable to obtain employment as a dancer will be approached on Bourbon Street. I saw this night after night.
1 out 4. The number of respondents who indicated unsafe work conditions and wage theft by employers.
- That’s the number of different individuals Christopher Young sent child pornography to.
- The percent of respondents who had signs of serious mental illness.
- The number of mass shootings on Bourbon in the past 2 years.
- The number of Tourists dragged across the bridge under a car from the French Quarter.
- The number of exotic dancers listed in the study that had sex for cash.
- The number of tickets I have seen issued for violating the smoking ban.
Adult Venues are not the problem, the lack of effective and thought out regulation is. In the final report released by the CPC, focus was placed on City Code section 10-5, an adult Nightclub/Cabaret License, issued by NOPD after a background check. Instead of a structured program, workers are required to take two useless internet classes on responsible vending and security. This training is paltry when you consider the chaos of Bourbon during Mardi Gras. I ask that you fix this, create a training program jointly with the NOPD, Covenant House, and the CPC. Provide women’s health services and counseling, the actual suggestions of the Covenant House study, not an under 21 ban. Enhance police presence, create a “police box”, this would provide more benefit than another T-Shirt Shop.
It is my opinion that if the procedures described by section 10-5 been enforced, Terry Speaks would have never been allowed employment in an adult venue, and Jaren would be alive today. So it is in her memory that I ask for the CPC to consider how this Nightclub Employee Permit may prevent this from occurring again.
I wish to also state that more research should be done on Ms. Palmer-Gisleson’s curfew. As it stands, much of the late night crime in the Quarter is committed by youth under the age of 21, something that Police Superintendent Serpas has noted in the past. These individuals have few venues they are allowed into and thus remain wandering the streets all night. Research should be done on how best to utilize the current law. Anti-loitering laws should be considered, Secretary of the Treasury Kennedy has mentioned this and the Supreme Court has recently set the precedent for random searches. Simple wand searches by the NOPD and State Police are a possible solution.
Thank you and have a nice day.
In conclusion, nearly half of the CPC was not in attendance today. 5 of the 9 members heard our comments. How is that justice?
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