NOPD Officer Sentenced in Post-Katrina Shooting

April 11, 2012

Danny Brumfield's body, outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. His family attached a note to his body with his name and their contact information.

Watch Law & Disorder, our investigation into questionable police shootings in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

Today a judge sentenced former New Orleans police officer Ronald Mitchell to 20 months in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice related to the shooting of Danny Brumfield, who was killed outside the convention center where many evacuees gathered in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

Mitchell shot Brumfield, but he was never charged with the shooting itself. (Read more about the shooting here.)  He was convicted for lying in a deposition he gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Brumfield’s family.

Brumfield’s story is one of six cases of questionable post-Katrina police shootings we’ve been investigating for the past two years with our partners at ProPublica and the Times-Picayune. Federal investigators began looking into the case shortly after we jointly published a December 2009 story in that raised questions about the quality of the NOPD’s internal investigation into Brumfield’s death.

Just last week, four former NOPD officers were each sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for their roles in the shootings of six civilians on the Danziger Bridge and an ensuing five-year cover-up. The trial of Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who is accused of participating in the Danziger Bridge cover-up, is scheduled to begin next month.

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