View Full Version : New Orleans PD post Katrina: Mass murder, vast cover ups, burnt corpses, oh my!

11 Mar 10,, 01:30
I have heard stories about how bad the police in New Orleans is from friends who used to live in Louisiana, but this is unbelievable. :eek::eek::eek::eek:

The New Orleans police: A bad shoot | The Economist (http://www.economist.com/world/united-states/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15610132&source=hptextfeature)

The New Orleans police

A bad shoot
Mar 4th 2010 | NEW ORLEANS
From The Economist print edition

Gradually, the story emerges of what happened on the Danziger bridge

The gunslingers’ krewe

A WEEK after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, on September 4th 2005, the police shot six civilians as they were crossing the Danziger bridge across the Industrial Canal. Two were killed; the others were seriously wounded, one losing an arm. On February 24th a high-ranking officer with a long police career pleaded guilty to orchestrating a vast cover-up of what took place there. It is likely to be only the start of a traumatic reckoning for the city’s long-troubled police department.

Police officers at first portrayed the shoot-out as a heroic victory by lawmen over the lawless. The official version was that some of the civilians involved had been shooting at the police, but the police rallied and justice prevailed. That story was quickly contested. No guns were collected from the scene, and the victims said the police’s claims were bunk. They insisted they were ambushed by officers, though some also mentioned a group of teenagers near the bridge shooting at passers-by. One of the dead, shot in the back by police, was retarded, and the other victims were generally respectable citizens.

A state grand jury saw things the victims’ way, and charged seven officers with murder. But that case fell apart because of a mistake by local prosecutors. Federal investigators promised to take another look, but the true picture of what happened on the bridge nearly five years ago has been slow to take shape.

Last week’s guilty plea offered a startling new perspective. Lieutenant Michael Lohman admitted that he had immediately recognised the Danziger incident as a “bad shoot”, and set about concealing it. He agreed that a gun should be planted under the bridge, reminding a subordinate to make sure the weapon was “clean”. He got so frustrated with the same underling’s progress on a whitewashing report that he took a stab at it himself.

Other federal charges are on the way, and not just in this case. The FBI has confirmed that its agents are investigating several other post-Katrina shootings by the police. Most of these were highlighted in a recent series co-written by the local Times-Picayune and an investigative website, ProPublica.org.

In one case evidence has surfaced that officers shot a man they suspected of looting. Then, when a good Samaritan brought the man to a nearby police encampment for help, officers handcuffed the would-be saviour while the shot man expired in the back of his car. Later the car was found burned beside the Mississippi River levee, with a charred corpse inside.

All these incidents took place at a time of chaos, when communications were disrupted and officers were understandably frazzled. There was a sense that the city was descending into a Hobbesian hell—although that impression was fed by misinformation, much of it spread by the police themselves. And even if there are mitigating circumstances, the cases cannot be chalked up as simply collateral damage from the hurricane.

Mr Lohman’s plea revealed deeper truths about the department, none of them pleasant. The alleged willingness of a large group of officers to go along with a cover-up suggests an abiding culture of corruption, as does the seemingly practised way in which the gun was planted under the bridge.

The new revelations, as they trickle out, will further tarnish the department’s reputation. It is already so bad that, according to a recent survey by the New Orleans Crime Fighting Coalition, only two in five citizens trust it. The nadir possibly came in the mid-1990s, when policemen were running all manner of drug and protection rackets, with one officer murdering her own partner in the course of a robbery.

But the scandal may have a couple of silver linings. The federal investigations will highlight the department’s problems, weed out compromised officers and, with luck, lead to more federal oversight. And the timing is good. The city’s mayor, Ray Nagin, is on his way out; with him will go the current police chief, Warren Riley, who got a battlefield promotion after Katrina. The next chief will come in knowing just how deep the department’s difficulties go.

The new mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has convened a 24-member committee to help him find the best candidate for the job. They mean to scour the whole country. Mr Landrieu has acknowledged that this will be the most important appointment he will make. Eliot Ness, are you out there?

Copyright © 2010 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.

11 Mar 10,, 08:20
Hardly inspires confidence.

11 Mar 10,, 16:27
Shocked, but not really surprised. After hearing so many of the other things that happened down there, this is really not even the icing on the cake for me.

IMO, the real tragedy of Katrina came after the hurricane and what the govt wrought.

Nagin and Blanco should have been removed from office just for being stupid and arrogant and all the "law" enforcement atrocities will probably never be found out.

I especially like the video of the cops slamming an old lady and cuffing her up after she told them she wasn't worried about criminals because she had a pistol. She showed it to them and they freaked out and dog piled her. Shameful at least!

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Listen carefully to the last 30 seconds of this. VERY disturbing!!
It bothered the soldier too, but he still followed orders. That is what disturbs me. The police chief was down right criminal IMO.

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11 Mar 10,, 18:48
Those cops should get an 8-hour training course, and then shipped off to Afghanistan to defuse roadside bombs for the duration.

Robert W
12 Mar 10,, 17:25
Those cops should get an 8-hour training course, and then shipped off to Afghanistan to defuse roadside bombs for the duration.

Once again they are chasing the wrong people....

Hello hello ACLU....where are you????

12 Mar 10,, 22:30
That was so scary to watch because if I put myself in that situation I wouldn't like how it turned out. More than likely I would never admit to owning guns and probably have most of my heavier firepower hidden to a certian degree.The inward (read:evil) side of me would feel like opening fire in the spirit of constitutional freedom! The disgusting pig of a chief announcing that he would confiscate guns makes me sick. How is disarming people in a disaster area for the good of all? Makes me glad I dont live in cities.

13 Mar 10,, 19:28
Do not give into the hype. Defending the constitution is not evil.

The sad reality is that the people that live there have the government they want. I heard far more cries of corruption from people who live elsewhere. Those who live there were by and large silent as they held out their hands for assistance. As for me I could not go through that area. If I wanted to subject myself to such widespread corruption I could go go Mexifornia (anywhere from the Oregon border to tip of Baja.

15 Mar 10,, 04:49
Doesn't sound a lot different fro the NOPD before Katrina.