The Danziger Bridge incident needs to be understood in the context of a major American city that had disintegrated.
"The New Orleans Police Department was overwhelmed," says Anthony Radosti, vice president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission and a former 23-year veteran investigator with the New Orleans police.
"Radio communication was at a minimum. [The police] felt isolated, abandoned. They had no place to live or sleep. Rumors were just wild. Sniper fire, armed individuals on the street. And in some cases, that information was true," Radosti says.
An Arkansas paramedic who rode to the Danziger Bridge with police that morning told NPR that officers were involved in a five-minute gunbattle. He heard people shooting back, but he says he was hiding and he couldn't see who they were.
Radosti sympathizes with embattled officers who were trying to take back their city -- up to a point.
Varg discusses this and the CCC bridge incident