LAW -- July 14, 2010 at 5:40 PM EDT
New Orleans Police Officers Indicted in Post-Katrina Shooting Case
Six current and former New Orleans Police Department officers were indicted Tuesday in the latest in a series of cases looking into questionable police action after Hurricane Katrina.
Four officers were charged in connection with the deaths of two unarmed civilians on Sept. 4, 2005, on the Danziger Bridge, which spans the industrial canal in East New Orleans. Three of those officers pled not guilty. Another two officers were charged with obstructing justice by trying to cover up the crime, and make it appear that the shootings were justified.
So far, 11 officers have been charged and three have pled guilty in an investigation into the shooting of six civilians on the bridge and the cover-up that followed. Two of those who were injured died, including a 17-year-old man and a 40-year-old mentally disabled man.
"Put simply, we will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who have sworn to protect the public," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday announcing the indictment. Holder described the investigations as a priority for the Department of Justice. The New Orleans Police Department is the subject of eight investigations.
Times-Picayune reporter Laura Maggi details the unfolding case and Frontline has an audio and video storyboard on the story. Working with ProPublica and The Times-Picayune, Frontline tracked six cases involving the New Orleans Police Department in and online investigation called Law & Disorder. The project circulated photos of the incidents in New Orleans asking for witnesses to close gaps in police reports.
In a different case, a federal grand jury indicted five officers New Orleans police officers in June for their roles in shooting of Henry Glover whose corpse was found in a burned car. The incident led to a federal investigation into the city's police department after an article by ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson that pieced together the final hours of Glover's life and found clues pointing to the New Orleans Police Department.
We'll have more on the indictments and the investigation into post-Katrina New Orleans on Wednesday's NewsHour. Stay tuned.