Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

August 5, 2011

5 New Orleans Cops Convicted on 25 Counts in Post-Katrina Shootings

by Stephen Littau

A new chapter in one of the more disturbing occurrences following hurricane Katrina came to a close today in a jury verdict that found 5 New Orleans cops guilty on 25 counts.

The AP reports (via The Houston Chronicle):

NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury on Friday convicted five current or former New Orleans police officers of civil rights violations in one of the lowest moments for city police in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: the shooting deaths of a teenager and a mentally disabled man as they crossed a bridge in search of food and help.

[…]

Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, Officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon were convicted of civil rights violations in the shootings that killed two people and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge less than a week after the storm. They face possible life prison sentences.

Retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman and the other four men also were convicted of engaging in a brazen cover-up that included a planted gun, fabricated witnesses and falsified reports. The five men were convicted of all 25 counts they faced.

[…]

Faulcon was found guilty of fatally shooting Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, but the jury decided his killing didn’t amount to murder. Faulcon, Gisevius, Bowen and Villavaso were convicted in the death of 17-year-old James Brissette. Jurors didn’t have to decide whether Brissette was murdered because they didn’t hold any of the defendants individually responsible for causing his death.

The documentary series Frontline had an investigative report on this case entitled “Law & Disorder” (episode below).

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

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  • Phil

    Do you have an opinion as to whether justice was done?

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    Phil, to be honest most of what I know of this case comes from the Frontline documentary which seems pretty damning of the actions of these cops. Having said that, I didn’t follow the trial (didn’t hear testimony from neither the prosecution nor the defense) so it’s very difficult for me to say whether “justice” was done or not.

    Most of the time I offer an opinion one way or another on a post but I chose not to in this case since I haven’t followed it as closely as maybe others have. I wanted to bring it to your attention because I thought it was a very important case and let you, decide and offer your thoughts (if you so choose).

    What are your thoughts? Do you think justice was done?

  • Phil

    At this point I have far too little information for an opinion. Sadly I do not trust Frontline. While I doubt that any “facts” that they present are not factual, there are an infinite number of other facts that may or not be important.

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