Police convicted of post-Katrina shootings
originally by: ABC News
published: 6th August 2011
A jury has convicted five New Orleans police officers of shooting dead two African-Americans during the chaos unleashed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and trying to cover-up the killings. The police officers were found guilty on 25 counts and could now face life imprisonment after being convicted of the deaths of two unarmed African-American civilians in the days after Katrina devastated the southern town.
“This shows that law enforcement officers will be held accountable for their actions,” US attorney Jim Letten said after the guilty verdict was handed down.
“The culture that fostered this code of silence is being shattered every day.”
The trial focused on events on the morning of September 4, 2005, on the city’s Danziger Bridge when officers, responding to a call of shooting in the area, let off what prosecutors have described as a “hail of gunfire”.
Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man described by family members as gentle and loving, was shot several times in the back and died at the scene.
One of the officers, Kenneth Bowen, also stamped on him while he lay wounded.
James Brisette, 17, a high school student who friends said was nerdy and studious, also died on the bridge.
Four others people from the same family were also wounded.
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