The New Zealand Herald article I pointed to earlier really didn’t explain well what did and did not happen. Critical readers will have noticed that by omission, it suggested that all of the stories of looting and violent crime following Katrina were the products of white paranoia. According to The New York Times, not quite.
[A] review of the available evidence shows that some, but not all, of the most alarming stories were figments of frightened imaginations, the product of no reliable communications, and perhaps the residue of the raw relations between some police officers and members of the public.
Beyond doubt, the sense of menace had been ignited by genuine disorder and violence. Looting varied from basic thievery to foraging for the necessities of life. Police officers said that at least one person fired for nights on end at a police station on the edge of the French Quarter. The manager of a hotel on Bourbon Street said he saw people running through the streets with guns.