New Orleans Police are looking for a local man after he refused to shut down a large party he was hosting.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Cecil Spencer, 38, after he refused to shut down a funeral repast on Saturday. Local and state orders have forbidden large public gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. New Orleans has more cases and more deaths than any other city in the state, and is the location of all the first cases.
Experts say that the only way to ease the strain on the health care system is to "flatten the curve," in other words slow the spread of the virus by social distancing and staying home.
But on Saturday, Second District Task Force Officers were called to the 3000 block of Audubon Street in New Orleans, where there was a large gathering taking place. Upon arrival, officers observed a band playing and about 100 individuals attending a funeral repast at the location.
Officers asked the event organizers to shut down the event, but they refused. Due to the flagrant violation of the state and local orders pertaining public gatherings, officers positively identified Spencer as one of the event organizers and issued a warrant for his arrest.
The leader of the band that was playing during the gathering, Clifton Smith, was issued a summons for his participation in the event.
The investigation remains ongoing. As more individuals are identified, more arrests will follow.
Anyone who wants to report large gatherings or businesses operating against these rules in their area is asked to call local law enforcement.