News New Orleans Police Officers Plead Guilty in Shooting of 6 unarmed Katrina Survivors

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Likes Received:
    View attachment 72295

    NEW ORLEANS — Five former police officers involved in the shooting deaths of unarmed people here in the days after Hurricane Katrina, a case that drew national outrage and intense scrutiny to the city’s police force, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday and received significantly less prison time than they originally faced.

    The guilty pleas, which drew prison terms from three to 12 years, were the latest development in a wrenching 10-year saga that began when police officers responding to a distress call on the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, opened fire on unarmed residents, killing two and injuring four.

    The officers — Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso and Officer Robert Faulcon, as well as a detective, Arthur Kaufman, who was assigned to investigate the shooting — were initially indicted on state charges. Those indictments were dismissed, and the officers were then charged in federal court.

    The men were found guilty in 2011 and faced sentences of six to 65 years, but a federal judge, Kurt D. Engelhardt, threw out the convictions two years later and ordered a retrial, a ruling that was upheld on appeal. All but Mr. Kaufman have been in custody in 2010.

    Under the terms of Wednesday’s deal, the four officers involved in the shooting received sentences ranging from seven to 12 years, with credit for time served. The fifth man, Mr. Kaufman, who was accused in the cover-up, got three years.

    “This has been a terrible ordeal for our family, our friends and our community,” said Lance Madison, the brother of Ronald Madison, who was one of the men killed. “We are glad this part is over with and that the N.O.P.D. officers responsible for this terrible incident and the coverup have finally admitted their guilt.”

    While the case made its tortuous way through the court system, the shootings on Danziger Bridge, as well as another shooting of an unarmed man in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, drew the attention of the Justice Department. In 2011, the police force here was brought under a federally mandated consent decree, a blueprint for a full-scale overhaul, which is continuing.

    Long before Ferguson and Baltimore became bywords in national debates on police use of force, the shootings on the Danziger Bridge shocked and sickened many here and across the country and raised troubling questions about police behavior that have since played out elsewhere.

    The victims, in a city still without order and drowning in floodwaters, were crossing the bridge in search of food or relatives when police officers rushed to the scene in a rental truck. The officers opened fire with shotguns and AK-47s, leaving four people severely injured and two dead: 17-year-old James Brisette, and Mr. Madison, a 40-year-old developmentally disabled man who took a shotgun blast in the back.

    At the federal trial, defense lawyers emphasized that the officers were responding to a call that the police were being shot at, and that, under the extreme circumstances of that chaotic time, they should not be harshly judged.

    But other officers who had pleaded guilty testified that defendants had fired without warning, stomped on the dying and immediately afterward began to construct what would become an extensive cover-up.

    The officers were convicted of civil rights violations, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. At their sentencing, however, Judge Engelhardt delivered a long speech condemning the prosecution for its plea deals and its use of certain witnesses, and deplored the mandatory minimum sentences he was forced to impose on some of the convicted officers.

    Over the next two years, a scandal unfolded in the United States attorney’s office in New Orleans, involving senior prosecutors who had anonymously commented online to articles in the local media about cases that were on trial. Citing this scandal, Judge Engelhardt threw out the officers’ convictions in 2013, pointing to the “highly unusual, extensive and truly bizarre actions” of prosecutors. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans upheld his ruling last year and ordered a new trial.
  2. Boomer

    Boomer Who is your daddy and what does he do?

    Feb 22, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Who cares about this. Happens everyday. I think the bigger story is the guy in Norway who shot 100 people actually won a human rights violation lawsuit.
  3. JameGumb

    JameGumb We're all out of toner! VIP

    Dec 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Scarlett Ohara and Boomer like this.
  4. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales Missouri Boat Ride VIP

    Jun 19, 2012
    Likes Received:
    So strange that the killing of two innocent people and the light sentences for the defendants gets very little attention here. :c
  5. Divorce Chicken

    Divorce Chicken I've got angst in my pants VIP

    Jan 24, 2012
    Likes Received:
    This is clearly on Bush.
  6. Mojopin

    Mojopin Resplendent in his frock

    Sep 19, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Most of the "people" on this site will not give a shit about this story.
  7. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen New phone who dis? VIP

    Jan 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    5 officers, 6 victims. Hmm, I want to know which one managed to hit two of them.
  8. SuperFarts

    SuperFarts Well-Known Member Banned User

    Aug 20, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Our system is upside down.

    There should be harsher penalties for cops since theyre entrusted with enforcing/upholding the law.

    If a civilian murdered a group of people and tried to cover it up, they'd receive a very severe punishment, even with a plea deal...

    Theres a whole conspiracy theory with regards to this guy, that hes got well connected handlers etc.
    Scarlett Ohara likes this.