Oldspeak:‘5 years later, the Holder justice department, seeks justice for 2 more unarmed black men gunned down, then stomped and kicked as they died by overzealous “peace officers”.
From WDSU New Orleans:
Six New Orleans police officers have been been indicted on federal charges in connection with the shootings on the Danziger Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina.
Four of them are accused of violating citizens’ civil rights in the shooting deaths of 17-year-old James Brisette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison.
The federal charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten on Tuesday, a day after indictments were handed down by a grand jury.
Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso are accused of shooting two people and injuring four others. Two other officers, Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue, face related charges of violation of citizens’ civil rights and obstruction of justice.
The indictment alleges Gisevius, Bowen and Villavaso shot and killed Brisette with assault rifles on the east ramp of the Danziger Bridge. It also alleges that Faulcon killed Madison, a man with mental disabilities, on the bridge.
Bowen is also accused in the indictment of using unreasonable force by stomping on and kicking Madison after he was shot but was still alive.
All six officers are also accused of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of other citizens on the bridge, as well as obstruction of justice for allegedly covering up the shooting, the indictment claims.
Letten said the officers “abused their power in committing violent crimes against those individuals they were sworn to protect.”
“Today’s indictment is compelling evidence of our absolute commitment to obtain true justice for the victims of this shooting,” Letten said.
All six officers surrendered to federal authorities Tuesday. Letten said his office considered the officers flight risks, and he was pushing to have them detained before trial.
Sources told WDSU I-Team reporter Travers Mackel earlier Tuesday that investigators have recently focused on the actions of NOPD officers who had direct involvement in the shootings. Previous charges have been filed primarily against those involved in falsifying reports or covering up alleged wrongdoing.
In 2008, state District Judge Raymond Bigelow quashed indictments against Bowen, Gisevius, Villavaso and Faulcon. At the time, they faced first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in connection with the shootings.