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.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wow, did it really happen?

Two weeks ago tonight the Saints won the Superbowl. It's still kind of dream like to me and - I'm sure a lot of other fans - to hear and say "The Saints won the Superbowl".

One of my favorite NOLA bloggers, dillyberto found this video taken just as Tracy Porter intercepted the ball in the 4th quarter of the SB. Who Dat.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Superbowl Parade

a perfect video recap of the Saints Superbowl parade.
Hard to believe this parade was put together in less than a week.
Via New Orleans!!! Who Dat Saints!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chris Rose is back!

He's writing for Gambit now!

.....Gambit calls Chris Rose — columnist, comedian, raconteur — the paper’s newest contributing writer.

Rose’s first essay will appear as the cover story in the Feb. 16 issue of Gambit and on its Web site, Blog of New Orleans. Thereafter, his column will appear weekly alongside the paper’s other award-winning columnists: Clancy DuBos, Jeremy Alford and the pseudonymous Blake Pontchartrain.

h/t to New Orleans News Ladder

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tide's a turning.

In the past month or so many happy, crazy, wonderful events have occurred in the Gulf Coast area it seems as if - after 4.5 years - the tides are finally turning from "shit out of luck" to "wow, that was nice!".

The denizens of Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have been witness to some of the most bizarre "good" scenarios since 2010 began. No one could make this stuff up! I hope someday somebody makes a movie out of what's happened so far!

Now, I'm not a writer or a big sports fan (you caught on to that, didn't you?). I'm just an observer of mankind in my home area. After the New Orleans Saints finished their regular season in an unprecidented winning season, I started paying attention and here's what I have found.

It all began with the New Orleans Saints unbelievable 2009 Season. They've been slowly building up to where they ended up this year since 2006 when Sean Payton and Drew Brees and company joined the Saints.

Because of the genius of Sean Payton, the Saints secured home advantage for the two playoff games.

Game number 1 was against the Azirona Cardinals and their great Quarterback Kurt Warner.

So many Saints heroes in this game. But as the Saints know, there's no "I" in "team".

This is the last game Kurt Warner will ever play. He retired shortly after this game. He's a class act

Playoff game 2 was against the very "sore losers" team, the Vikings and their
over the hill but still damn good "Brett Farve. Not a class act, but an egomaniac

I loved this game.

I think this was the first time in Saints' Fan History that a million tears of joy were shed....openly by men as well as women......not just because the Saints WERE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL FOR THE FIRST TIME, but for all of those fans who never lived to see this day. Yes, Katrina you bitch. They were there in spirit.

After the game ended there was an instantaeous eruption of fans - who were watching the game in the quarter - into the streets, hugging, high fiving and screaming with joy

Following that (well, there was a week or two to kill between games) came the ever popular Bobby and Buddy D Brawds in Dresses Parade. This parade proved that the male Saints fans are very secure in their masculinity to don a huge assortment of womens' dresses and parade from the Superdome to Bourbon Street in honor of Buddy Diliberto, a beloved legend in New Orleans sports broadcasting.

Buddy loved the Saints and one day said that if they ever went to the Superbowl, he'd wear a dress. Buddy died in 2005 but his followers remembered his words. A parade was basically thrown together in a week. It was a walking parade which grew into 85,000 strong. Unbelieveable. In the following clip, witness the "father of the Who Dat Nation", former Saints Quarterback Bobby Cajun Cannon Hebert, get into character (helped not doubt with some heavy alcohol consumption)

It was such an awesome day. Buddy D would've been happy.

On a side note, there are several NOLA bloggers who are die hard Saints Fans who held their own tribute to Buddy D that day. I love this. And these guys, even though we've never met.

Next came Superbowl week, with all it's hype. But two days before then, a wonderful thing happened:

Saints number 57 - Ricky Jackson - inducted into the Hall of Fame.

A day later Mitch Landrieu was elected Mayor of NOLA, effective in May. One of the best things to happen to the city since Katrina.

A day later, pigs flew, hell froze over. Our Saints won the Superbowl

I know people who drove for 2 hours to be in the French Quarter after the game.
I just went to bed extremely happy.

Two days later: The Lombardi Gras. Close to a MILLION people attended the
Saints Victory Parade.

this is a local TV station that doesn't allow embedding, but it shows the enormity of the crowd.

Mardi Gras starts in full throttle this weekend, weather permitting. It's gonna be nice to rest from so much excitement.

The Gulf Coast has had a wonderfully wild ride this month and a lot of people are feeling that this surge of positive activity shows that we are finally turning the corner from the pains of Katrina.

Yeee Haw!!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Saints are Comin'

Found this awesome video on Facebook. It's just beautiful!!!!