Last Cooperating NOPD Officer Sentenced in Danziger Bridge Case


December 2, 2011

Yesterday, former NOPD Officer Robert Barrios was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in covering up the police shootings on the Danziger Bridge that killed two and injured four unarmed civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina. He was the last of the five officers who cooperated with the prosecution to be sentenced in the case.  Five additional police officers were convicted in August for their roles in the shootings and ensuing cover-up.

Like three of his colleagues, Barrios was sentenced to the maximum prison term; only one of the five officers who cooperated caught a sentencing break. But unlike in other four cases, prosecutors did not argue for leniency. As the last officer to come forward, Barrios didn’t provide any new evidence, according to federal prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein, and while Barrios did agree to wear a wire, he did not get any useful information out of his partner.

“The bottom line is he has been very cooperative with us,” Berstein said in court, as reported by our partners at the Times-Picayune. “That said … the assistance didn’t amount to substantial assistance for the government.”

The Danziger Bridge case is the most high-profile of six questionable cases of post-Katrina police shootings that we’ve been following with ProPublica and the Times-Picayune. You can explore all six cases here and watch our film Law & Disorder.

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