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October 6, 2011 13:48 Tough Sentences for Danziger Bridge Officers Turned Witnesses Federal prosecutors yesterday asked for leniency in sentencing two former New Orleans police officers who pleaded guilty to participating in the cover-up of the notorious post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings. CONTINUE »
September 15, 2011 13:26 FBI Agents To Monitor New Orleans Police Two FBI agents will be stationed full time in the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau, the department and the FBI jointly announced this week. The agents, whose presence was requested by the NOPD, will investigate allegations of significant corruption or civil rights violations in the department. CONTINUE »
August 5, 2011 14:07 Verdict: Five NOPD Officers Guilty in Danziger Bridge Shootings, Cover-Up A federal jury today found all five Danziger Bridge defendants guilty of the shootings that killed two civilians and seriously wounded four others in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The jury also found the officers guilty of a massive cover-up that lasted nearly five years. Five NOPD officers had previously pleaded guilty in the case. CONTINUE »
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June 28, 2011 07:56

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."

posted June 28, 2011

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