New Orleans Dad With Violent History Allegedly Set House on Fire, Killing His 3 Kids

 New Orleans Dad With Violent History Allegedly Set House on Fire, Killing His 3 Kids

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During a recent meeting of the New Orleans City Council on October 19, the devastating loss of three young children in a house on America Street weighed heavily on the minds of council members.

At the request of Councilman Oliver Thomas, a moment of silence was observed by both the council and the audience. Thomas expressed the importance of coming together in prayer and positive energy to support the grieving family, saying, “Take a moment, especially with the packed hall, so we could kind of feel their spirits and feel that family and send positive energy to that family. I believe in prayer, and I believe in positive energy. Hopefully, it will make a difference if we could bow our heads for a minute, please.”

Following the solemn pause, the council acknowledged Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with advocates, survivors, and some council members wearing purple to honor victims of domestic violence.

Adrienna Winfrey, the owner of Arin’s Nesting Place, shared her personal experience with domestic violence. She spoke about the severe abuse she endured, from yelling to being dragged on the carpet, leaving her with severe injuries, according to KNOE.

Advocates emphasized that even one death due to domestic abuse is one too many. Hope Levins, a representative of the New Orleans Health Department, noted that in 2020, there were a total of 10 domestic abuse fatalities in New Orleans, a 50% increase from 2019.

Council Vice President Helena Moreno passionately addressed the issue of domestic abuse and the tragic deaths of the three children. She expressed sorrow that three more victims had been added to the list of those affected by domestic violence.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the leader of the city’s health department, assured that those working in this field are committed to preventing further tragedies and improving the response to domestic violence cases.

The mother of the three children killed in the recent house fire, allegedly set by their father, Joseph Washington, had obtained a protective or restraining order against him in September 2018. Court documents revealed her harrowing experience, including threats and physical violence.

During the council meeting, Moreno voiced frustration with the treatment of domestic violence victims in New Orleans, emphasizing the urgency of their pleas for help.

Several council members criticized the New Orleans courts and expressed disappointment with the current situation, highlighting the need for action to protect victims. Council President J.P. Morrell stressed the importance of timely hearings, separating individuals, and removing firearms to save lives.

The New Orleans Family Justice Center, represented at the meeting, provides a range of essential services, including a 24-hour hotline and emergency shelter, to support victims of domestic violence.

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