Thursday, April 5, 2012

5 Ex-New Orleans cops get "hard time" in Danziger Bridge shootings ‎

This time justice was served. We still have a long way to go so don't get too complacent.

Katrina also had it's own instances of "vigilante law" that were very questionable.

By CAIN BURDEAU | Associated Press – April 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Five former New Orleans police officers were sentenced
Wednesday to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for their roles in
deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon were
convicted of firearms charges in the shootings. Retired Sgt. Arthur
"Archie" Kaufman, who was assigned to investigate the shootings, was
convicted of helping orchestrate the cover-up.

Faulcon received the stiffest sentence of 65 years. Bowen and Gisevius
each got 40 years while Villavaso was sentenced to 38 years. Kaufman
received the lightest sentence at six years.

A federal jury convicted the officers in August 2011 of civil rights
violations in the shootings on the Danziger Bridge and the cover-up.

Police shot six people, killing two, less than a week after the storm's
landfall on Aug. 29, 2005. To make the shootings appear justified,
officers conspired to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify

The case became the centerpiece of the Justice Department's push to clean
up the troubled New Orleans Police Department.

U.S. District Kurt Engelhardt heard hours of testimony earlier in the day
from prosecutors, defense attorneys, relatives of shooting victims and the

A review (Democracy Now) 2007

The official story started floating out soon after the hurricane hit that there were snipers on the Danziger Bridge, which connects two neighborhoods flooded by the hurricane, that the police had taken them out and killed some of them. But there were other stories, too: that police had chased down and massacred innocent people fleeing the storm.
Last December seven police officers were indicted for killing two people walking across the bridge. They were from two families, the Bartholomews and the Madisons. James Brisette, a young man who was a friend of the Bartholomews was killed by seven bullets in his back and legs. Susan Bartholomew’s arm was partially blown off, her daughter and husband had three gunshot wounds each. Their trial is ongoing.
Ronald Madison, a forty year-old mentally disabled man, was one of the two people killed. He was walking across the bridge with his older brother Lance when, according to police, he was shot in the back and died. Lance was initially arrested and jailed for attempting to murder the police officers. He was later released after a grand jury cleared his name.
Dr. Rommel Madison is the brother of Lance and Ronald Madison. He is a dentist and testified Thursday at the International Tribunal on Hurricane Katrina. He joins us in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. We’re also joined by Rosana Cruz the co-director of * Safe Streets, Strong Communities* a grassroots organization focused on transforming the criminal justice system in New Orleans.

No comments: