Quantcast

Six more NOLA police officers charged in post-Katrina shootings

By Pro Publica
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 20:06 EDT
google plus icon
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the indictment of six current or former New Orleans Police Department officers in connection to the Danziger Bridge shootings, which occurred during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The new indictments stem from the shooting of six civilians on Sept. 4, 2005 by a squad of police officers, a bloody episode that left two people dead and four severely wounded. Our partners at the New Orleans Times-Picayune have the details on the fresh charges here.

The troubled New Orleans police force – which is the subject of at least eight ongoing investigations – “is a priority for this Department of Justice,” said Holder in a press conference streamed live on local TV news websites.

Since February, federal prosecutors have charged 16 current and former cops for offenses allegedly committed during the chaotic days after the levees failed, inundating the city and crippling the local government. So far, five have pleaded guilty.

Last month, federal investigators charged an officer with murdering Henry Glover, an offense that could carry the death penalty, and others with torching Glover’s body and attempting to conceal the crime. Federal agents are also scrutinizing several other post-Katrina episodes, including the shootings of Keenon McCann, Danny Brumfield, Jr., and Matthew McDonald by cops.

One of the people indicted today played a role in several of these cases. Former NOPD Sergeant Gerard Dugue, who is accused of trying to cover up the true circumstances of the Danziger shootings, also investigated Glover’s death and supervised the police department’s probe into the killing of Brumfield, who died after being shot in the back at a close-range. This spring Dugue retired from his job as a homicide detective.

The Justice Department is also conducting a broader survey of the police force’s policies, which could lead to federally supervised reform and restructuring of the department. In May, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was elected earlier this year, invited Justice to conduct the review, saying in a letter that “I have inherited what is described by many as one of the worst police departments in the country.”

Pro Publica
Pro Publica
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+