Danziger Bridge Trial Begins
Susan Bartholomew, who lost her right arm after being shot by New Orleans police officers, was the first prosecution witness to testify in the trial of five NOPD officers, which began on Monday. She recalled lying on the ground on that day and being ordered by the police to raise her hands. "I couldn't do it, because my arm was shot off," she said softly. "I raised the only hand I had."
In their opening statements, attorneys for the officers laid out two main lines of defense: 1) that the shooting was justified and 2) that jurors must take the chaotic conditions of Hurricane Katrina into account when considering the officers' actions. "This case is not about whether or not members of the Bartholomew group had guns or not. It's whether these officers reasonably believed these people had guns," said Timothy Meche, attorney for former officer Anthony Villavaso. "Things are happening so fast. It's not a video game. It's not a slow-motion movie."