Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mitch Landrieu Calls on the DOJ to Reform New Orleans Police Department

Yesterday May 5th Mitch Landrieu the newly minted Mayor of New Orleans held a press conference to announce he would seek the Department of Justice’s help in reforming the New Orleans Police Department.

This is a direct result of the department’s actions and reactions following an incident on the Danziger Bridge in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the incident a group of our fellow citizens were attempting to escape the city in search of supplies when a gang of police officers began firing on the unarmed crowd. Six of us were hit and two of us Ronald Madison and James Brissette were murdered in cold blood.


The story of the Danziger Bridge massacre reads like a horror story that even Hollywood would find hard to produce. Since February four lying pieces of feces who had been police officers have copped a plea in being complicit yet to this date none have been charged with actual murder. Michael Lohman the investigative ringleader.

In unsealing the case against Lohman, prosecutors drew a picture of how the shootings at the Danziger bridge immediately spawned a cover-up.
Lohman went to the scene and saw no weapons near or with the victims of the shooting, federal officials said, and concluded the shootings were not justified.
The documents allege Lohman and an unidentified investigator he supervised drafted different versions of false reports. Among the claims was a fabricated statement by one of the victims that she had seen her nephew and others firing guns on the bridge.
Federal officials say Lohman drafted his own 17-page false report after becoming dissatisfied that another investigator's false account was not logical.

Lying Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Katrina Shootings

Michael Hunter a just following orders, yeah I saw my associates assault and murder people but I’m a good officer so I will just keep quiet.

Hunter, 33, said a New Orleans police sergeant fired an assault rifle at wounded civilians at close range after other officers stopped shooting and after it was clear that the police were not taking fire. He also says he saw another officer in a car fire a shotgun at a fleeing man's back, although the man did nothing suggesting he was a threat to police. That man, 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who was severely mentally disabled, died of his wounds.
As part of his plea, Hunter also acknowledged taking part in a conspiracy with colleagues to conceal the circumstances of what he considered an unjustified shooting. At one point, in a meeting with other officers, a supervisor said "something to the effect of, we don't want this to look like a massacre," the court document says.

Cold Blooded Police Murder in New Orleans

And Robert Barrios another officer who saw everything did nothing and lied about it.

The bill of information charges Barrios with agreeing with other officers to obstruct justice during the investigations that followed the shooting. Specifically, it charges that Barrios and other officers discussed the stories that they would tell about what happened on the bridge and that, on Jan. 25, 2006, before the officers gave formal, audiotaped statements about the incident, they gathered with supervisors in an abandoned and gutted out building, where they again went over the stories they would tell on tape. The bill of information alleges that the purpose of the conspiracy Barrios joined was to provide false and misleading information in order to ensure that the shootings would appear to be legally justified and that the involved officers would therefore be shielded from liability. The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

4th Police Perp Prepares Plean in New Orleans Massacre

The fourth killing racist liar to be identified Jeffrey Lehrman had since gone on to become a member of the Immigration Service, and no no he wont profile but at the time he was a lying police detective.

Jeffrey Lehrmann, a former NOPD detective who then became an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pleaded guilty to covering up a felony, and admitted that he too participated in the cover-up of the Danziger Bridge shooting.

As a result of this incident Mitch Landrieu has requested the help of the DOJ Link to Mayor Landrieu's letter to reform its ways using the same mechanism that Los Angeles had to go through following the Rodney King decision and riots Story about the Los Angeles consent decree, however unlike Los Angeles it appears it wont be necessary for the DOJ to sue in order to reform the department Mayor Landrieu knows this is something he can’t do alone.

"I have inherited a police force that has been described by many as one of the worst police departments in the country. This assessment is made based on several indicators including the number of violent crimes, incidents of rape, and malfeasance by members of the police department,"

"The force itself has been dealt a demoralizing blow with investigations, indictments, and resignations stemming from incidents in the days following Hurricane Katrina,"
Talking Points Memo article about Mitch

The people of New Orleans and the rest of the country thank you Mayor Landrieu this couldn't have been easy, and reform wont be. However the situation that exists in the policing of that city cannot endure. Too many citizens have cried out for justice in the face of police abuse following Katrina only to be told their stories were urban myths. Their stories were urban horror stories I only hope that this action by Mayor Landrieu represents only the first step to healing. There are still cops out there who did the actual killing uncharged and free men, and to those people I say the wheels of justice may grind slowly but they grind surely. Your day will come.

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