I hope these guys get proper punishment


Update: Third New Orleans police officer pleads guilty in Danziger Bridge case
By Times-Picayune Staff
April 07, 2010, 4:49PM

Ellis Lucia / The Times-Picayune archiveOfficer Michael Hunter, in black jacket, was surrounded by supportive New Orleans police officers as he turned himself in as a suspect in January 2007.

Michael Hunter, a New Orleans police officer who was charged last week with conspiring to cover up the shootings of six people after Hurricane Katrina on the Danziger Bridge, pleaded guilty to that charge in federal court this afternoon, saying that he and other officers fired repeatedly on unarmed civilians.

According to a summary of the case signed by Hunter, the firing continued even after officers realized the people they were shooting at were unarmed.
Two people died and four others were injured in the Danziger incident.

The account of events Hunter signed this afternoon, called a factual basis, is chilling. It says that he was driving a large Budget rental truck to the bridge, which connects Gentilly and eastern New Orleans at Chef Menteur Highway. Hunter and the group of officers who rode with him, numbering at least seven, were responding to a radio transmission from other New Orleans police officers who said they were taking fire nearby. Hunter acknowledged firing his gun as a warning as the truck approached a group of civilians on the bridge's eastern side.

As the truck rolled to a stop, the factual basis says, the sergeant sitting next to Hunter in the truck's cab fired Hunter's assault rifle toward a group of civilians on the bridge's walkway. Though the document doesn't identify the sergeant by name, other documents make clear that the officer in question is Sgt. Kenneth Bowen.

The factual basis says Hunter told officers to stop shooting upon realizing that the officers were not taking fire and determining that the civilians were both injured and unarmed. Nonetheless, it says, Bowen leaned over a concrete barrier, "held out his assault rifle, and in a sweeping motion, fired repeatedly at the civilians lying wounded on the ground."

Next, the document says, Hunter and Bowen got back into the rental truck and drove to the crest of bridge, where they met up with "Sergeant B." Other documents make clear that that officer is Sgt. Robert Gisevius.

Three officers -- Gisevius, Hunter and officer Robert Faulcon -- jumped into an unmarked State Police car that pulled up nearby, the factual basis says. Riding in the front passenger seat was "Officer A," who, other documents make clear, is Faulcon. The group saw three men running away, two of whom were Lance and Ronald Madison. Hunter acknowledged he didn't see a gun on either one.

As the car pulled to a stop, Faulcon fired a shotgun at Ronald Madison's back, the factual basis says, though Madison never appeared to pose a threat. As Madison lay on the pavement, Bowen began "kicking or stomping him with a foot," the document says. Bowen continued to do that until Hunter stopped him, it says.

Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, died at the scene.

Hunter's plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance. After the factual basis was read out loud in court by federal prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein, Vance said: "I don't think you can listen to that account without being sickened by the raw brutality of the shooting and the craven lawlessness of the cover-up."

Hunter resigned from the New Orleans Police Department the day after he was charged.

Immediately before his guilty plea, he was arraigned Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Louis Moore. He will be free on $25,000 bond.

Hunter, 33, is the third officer to be charged in the shootings thus far, though more indictments are a near certainty. Hunter is the only one of the three charged officers who was actually at the scene when the shootings took place. While he has long acknowledged discharging his weapon, he has said he did not hit anyone.

Two other officers -- Lt. Michael Lohman and Detective Jeffrey Lehrmann -- have already pleaded guilty to charges that they plotted to cover up the Danziger shootings to make them appear justified.

Lohman resigned from the force shortly before pleading guilty in February, while Lehrmann left the NOPD about a year after the storm.

Apart from Madison, the other man who died during the shooting was James Brissette, a 17-year-old New Orleans man. His friend Jose Holmes, then 19, was severely wounded, as were three members of Holmes' family: Susan Bartholomew, Holmes' aunt, then 38, his cousin Lesha Bartholomew, 17, and his uncle Leonard Bartholomew, 44.

Attorneys for three New Orleans police officers, including the detectives who conducted the NOPD shooting probe, have acknowledged receiving target letters indicating they are under federal investigation. However, these attorneys have argued that officers fired their weapons in response to civilian gunfire. None of the three has been charged.

Update: Third New Orleans police officer pleads guilty in Danziger Bridge case | - NOLA.com

Bill of Information
SIckens me how anyone could offer a defence of justification for shooting into a civilian crowd.

I fear our cities are doomed if they ever face a more "long term" katrina.
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WOW and they still gave him a plea bargain? I assume the only reason he pleaded guilty. Man that is messed up. Talk about a total loss of control.
THese crimes would have went unpunished if the families wouldnt have been so persistant... people have been complaining for years about NOPD:banghead:
WOW and they still gave him a plea bargain? I assume the only reason he pleaded guilty. Man that is messed up. Talk about a total loss of control.

Yeah apparently, once the feds got involved they ripped apart what the officers said happened because it made no sense, so realizing this they started crumbling, at that point it's the first one in gets the best deal, also I believe their was a crew filming and caught part of what happened further blowing holes in the murder cover up. If you read that bill of information it's the court document filed that gives all the details about what happened and the cover up.