Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Justice being served...Katrina Bridge Shooting

Six more New Orleans police officers among them Officers Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon have been indicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of four others who were walking on the Danziger Bridge a few days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

Also charged were two supervisors who were accused of helping cover up the incident and obstructing the investigation.

Victims were James Brissette, a 17-year-old city resident, and Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man who suffered mental disabilities and was shot in the back. The officers opened fire on the group, who were on their way to get food and supplies from a supermarket, according to the indictment. Brissette was shot and killed while four other family members were wounded.

"Today marks an important step forward in administering justice, in healing community wounds, in improving public safety, and in restoring public trust in this city's police department," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference in New Orleans unveiling the charges.

"We will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who are sworn to protect the public," he said.

The four officers charged with the killings could face the death penalty or life in prison. Faulcon quit the department in 2005.

The two supervisors were Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue. Kaufman could face up to 120 years in prison while Dugue, who is now retired, could face up to 70 years in prison.

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