Thursday, February 25, 2010
Finally....almost 5 years later
The man in the above picture is Lance Madison. The fear in his eyes breaks my heart. He is on his knees and surrounded by a group of thugs: New Orleans cops. For reasons beyond my comprehension, these thugs decided to frame Mr. Madison. This is AFTER they murdered his severely mentally ill brother by shooting him 7 times in the back.
NPR discusses what happened here .
NOLA goes more in depth about what happened on September 5, 2005 here.
Those reading this who are not familiar with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina may not recall the infamous 'Danziger Seven' Indicted in 2006 were:
click on picture for larger version
From left: Robert Barrios, Robert Faulcon Jr., Ignatius Hills, Robert Gisevius Jr., Kenneth Bowen, Anthony Villavaso II, and Michael Hunter Jr. (AP Photo) (AP)
Sgt. Kenneth Bowen was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette. Bowen also was charged with six counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew, Jose Holmes Jr., Lance Madison and Ronald Madison, who allegedly was fatally shot by another officer. Lance Madison was shot at by police, but not injured, according to his attorney. The three Bartholomews and Holmes were treated for gunshot wounds at West Jefferson Hospital, according to all accounts.
Sergeant Robert Gisevius was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette and two counts of attempted first-degree murder of Lance Madison and Ronald Madison.
Officer Anthony Villavaso was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette and four counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.
Officer Robert Faulcon was charged with two counts of first-degree murder of James Brissette and Ronald Madison. He also was charged with attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.
Officer Robert Barrios was charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.
Officer Michael Hunter was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder of Lance Madison and Ronald Madison.
Officer Ignatius Hills was charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew IV.
Nearly three years after the incident, charges were dropped against the thugs do to a screw up in ex D.A. Eddie Jordan's office:
From the above link: Murder and attempted-murder charges against seven New Orleans police officers -- accused of shooting unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina -- were tossed out Wednesday by Criminal District Court Judge Raymond Bigelow, who concluded that a prosecutor violated grand jury secrecy.
Assistant District Attorney Dustin Davis, who has since left the office, showed a snippet of grand jury testimony to the supervisor of several of the accused officers.
"The violation is clear, and indeed, uncontroverted. The state improperly disclosed grand jury testimony to another police officer, " Bigelow said, reading his ruling from the bench.
Yesterday (February 24, 2010), a former NOPD supervisor pled guilty to covering up what really happened.
From the NOLA dot com website an excerpt:
Admitting a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former New Orleans police supervisor pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday, confessing that he participated in a conspiracy to justify the shooting of six unarmed people after Hurricane Katrina that was hatched not long after police stopped firing their weapons.
The guilty plea of Lt. Michael Lohman, who retired from the department earlier this month, contains explosive details of the alleged cover-up and ramps up the legal pressure on police officers involved in the shooting and subsequent investigation. It's unclear when Lohman's cooperation with federal authorities began, but he presumably is prepared to testify against the officers he says helped him lie about the circumstances of a shooting he immediately deemed a "bad shoot."
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
I think (I HOPE) that this is a turning point in the whole mess that took place after the storm. The innocents involved, such as the ones in the Danziger bridge case can finally put this hell behind them, although the pain and memories will never fade.
John McCusker / The Times-Picayune
Police must be held to the law, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said on the steps of the federal courthouse Wednesday.
Keep up the great work, Mr. Letten and crew!
Update March 9th, 2010
And the dominoes are starting to fall. On March 8th, former NOPD
Jeffrey Lehrmann, 38, was charged late last month with misprision of a felony -- or knowing about a crime and failing to report it, according to a bill of information unsealed . Defendants who are charged by bill of information, rather than grand jury indictment, have typically signed plea agreements with the federal government requiring them to cooperate.
Lehrmann, now an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, is at least the second former officer to cooperate with prosecutors, adding steam to a probe that is certain to include additional indictments of NOPD officers.
Lerhmann's role in the incident was after-the-fact: He was one of two detectives who supposedly interviewed and took statements from the civilians wounded in the police shooting.