Five police sentenced shots - Los Angeles Times after Katrina

To embrace family members supporters and victims outside Federal Court in New Orleans after the convictions. (Gerald Herbert / associated press / August 5, 2011)Five current and former New Orleans Police officers were convicted Friday on the Federal Republic of fees due to the Danziger bridge case, perhaps the most notorious multiple instances of violent police misconduct immediately after Hurricane Katrina, when the city in chaos and fear was overthrown.

Flooded on 4 September 2005 six days after the city, a group of police response to a call, that colleagues had come under fire, officers rode the bridge in a budget rental truck and shot at people walking on it, killed two and injured four were. Federal prosecutors claimed that the civilians were unarmed - and that the officers and later another elaborate coverup participated.


Rang with Friday's jury ruling out calls for the closure of City Hall and Washington. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said it closed "a dark chapter in the history of our city," adding: "We now have the opportunity to make the page and to heal."


US Attorney gen Eric H. holder Jr., said in a separate statement, he hoped that the verdict "bears police to restore the public confidence in the New Orleans Department."


But others wondered if the lasting bitterness on the case would the reform efforts a notoriously below average spoil and corrupt Department charged with maintaining order in a city suffering of a homicide rate 10 times the national average.


Peter Scharf, a Tulane University criminologist, said that the Danzig decision effectively to carry out will interfere with the ability of the Federal Government reforms under consent decree between city officials and the US Department of Justice hammered could.


"I think, is the problem: this doesn't help or harm?" Scharf, said. "And I think, now it's attacked a fear between the police and a sense and a sense of being a little paranoid."


In addition, Scharf said there is a persistent sense among some officers and residents, the future climate of confusion, fear and has not in the vicinity of anarchy in the Danzig case and others in Katrina-related civil rights investigations into account, of the nine by the Justice Department confirmed were, the New Orleans Times-Picayune according to.


The six-week, Gdansk trial featured testimony from five other NOPD officers who cover up charges of obstruction of Justice and the incident already guilty pleaded.


Prosecutors said the four accused - Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius, and officers Robert Faulcon and fired at Anthony Villavaso - Bartholomew, a family walk in search of food and supplies, killing 17-year-old family friend James Brissette and wounded four members of the family.


Minutes later, fired on two brothers, Lance and Ronald Madison, police according to a summary of the Justice Department. Faulcon of the mentally handicapped Ronald Madison in the back shot as he ran away, witnesses said. Bowen, stomped and kicked him, before he died, according to the summary.


Officers Lance Madison arrested and charged him with eight counts of attempted murder of police officers. But they have no weapons collected.


Prosecutors said the fifth suspect, homicide investigator Sgt. Arthur "Archie" Kaufman, joined the other four in cover up of the incident, invent witnesses, hold a meeting you with the suspects their stories, and said evidence was discovered in the scene, just get a gun from his house.


The four officers who were on the bridge had been sentenced for violations of civil rights and fees in connection with the coverup. You have potential multiple life terms.


The jury was asked to determine whether murder, fraud, resulting in potentially harsher penalties under federal laws while not formal payment, would the murders. But jurors refused to do so.


Kaufman, the investigator must be up to 120 years in prison. A sentencing hearing Dec. 14 to.


Suspect a sixth former homicide Detective Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who was in the coverup, faces trial next month.


Richard.FAUSSET@LATimes.com


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Five police sentenced shots - Los Angeles Times after Katrina