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Alleged New Orleans gang leader killed days after release amid coronavirus concerns

Three days after a reputed 6th Ward gang leader was released from jail — in part because of the danger posed to inmates by the novel coronavirus — he was shot dead on the block where police accused him of peddling heroin.

The Sunday afternoon death of 33-year-old Glynn Mc Cormick has already emerged as a flashpoint in the debate over releases from local jails as the coronavirus infects more inmates and staffers.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said a state Orleans News judge went too far in springing a man accused of a long list of criminal behavior. McCormick’s attorney accused the DA of playing politics with a homicide.

The debate comes as the New Orleans jail’s population dips to historically low numbers. On Monday, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office had 834 people in custody, down more than 200 from when the coronavirus crisis began in Louisiana.

Epidemiologists and public defenders have pushed for speedy releases to prevent inmates and guards from catching COVID-19. Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said last week that there hasn't been an overall crime spike in recent weeks.

McCormick wound up dead anyway. He had a long history of drug arrests and a dismissed domestic violence charge on his record before prosecutors charged him in a gang indictment in May 2018.

McCormick was accused of being a ringleader in a drug-dealing operation on “D-Block,” the notorious 2600 block of Dumaine Street. Before Sunday, seven homicides had occurred on it or nearby.

Cannizzaro’s office said that McCormick, also known as “Spot,” was caught before the indictment with 227 grams of heroin, an assault-style rifle and $14,000 in cash. More drugs and money were found upon his arrest, according to police.

McCormick stayed in the lock-up until last week Press Release Distribution Services In Orleans when defense attorney John Fuller argued that his client should be released because of the coronavirus's spread at the jail and his client's long wait for trial.

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