Katrina: Danziger Bridge Cops Charged With Murder

posted at 2:22 am on December 29, 2006 by see-dubya

At the time we heard about lawless mobs shooting at rescue helicopters on the Danziger bridge.

Then the description of the Danziger bridge “gunfight” dialed back a bit. These “rioters”, although charged with attempted murder, were cleared by a grand jury.

And now, seven New Orleans policemen are charged with first-degree murder over the Danziger bridge shootings. Six people were shot there, two fatally.

If this was truly premeditated murder by these cops then this should be a capital crime. But the reporting about this incident is so screwed up I have trouble believing first-degree murder. For one thing, even within the reportedly rather corrupt NOPD, I don’t see seven cops engaging in premeditated homicide for no apparent reason. Accidental shooting, even manslaughter, I might understand. It’s far easier for me to see a Nifong-like politically-calculated smear job by the DA.

As always, I may be wrong. But seven premeditated murderers stretches credibilty.

Exit question*: If the media got this this wrong in New Orleans, Louisiana, why should we believe a dad-gum thing what they–or Captain Jamil Hussein–have to say about shootings in Iraq?

___
* as a Hot Air guest blogger, I am permitted to write an “EXIT QUESTION:”, and arch my eyebrow while I type it.


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This from the CNN link:

“We cannot allow our police officers to shoot and kill our citizens without justification like rabid dogs,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan Jr. said. “The rules governing the use of lethal force are not suspended during a state of emergency. Everyone, including police officers, must abide by the law of the land.”

Some of the forensic evidence and lack of a weapon being found certainly point to some wrongdoing, on the face of it.

Remembering the state of chaos in New Orleans at the time, any number of scenarios come to mind, however.

Regardless, D.A. Jordan seems to be engaging in trial by media, without having the first bit of evidence being presented to a court or jury (grand jury excepted, and we all know how that works.)

Even if these guys are guilty as he11, is it the D.A.’s job to prejudice the potential jury pool before the trial is even convened? I think not.

This “Nifonging” of defendants is part of the reason for so much distrust of our system of justice.

“Rabid dogs?” One would think that Jordan would turn it down a notch in light of the ongoing story in Durham.

hillbillyjim on December 29, 2006 at 2:50 AM

The incident predates my apotheosis and, therefore, my omniscience, but here’s my understanding of the accusation. The Westbank portion of the New Orleans area was largely protected by the Mississippi River from the looting and violence in the more populous, mostly flooded portion of New Orleans on the other side of the river. The alleged shootings and murders by the policemen, as I understand, are said to be related to an alleged effort to turn people back who were trying to cross from the larger part of New Orleans, on the “east” or north side of the Mississippi River, toward the Westbank community of Algiers. The accusation of premeditation, on the basis of such an account, appears to be part of a more encompassing accusation that these policemen had determined in advance to shoot in order to turn people back.

Kralizec on December 29, 2006 at 3:09 AM

By the way, from the Department of Truth in Advertising comes this news: One of the residential areas of New Orleans that was flooded is named Broadmoor. It was a wide swamp, a broad moor, before it was drained. Also, I don’t think it was accidental that the “downtown,” commercial area of New Orleans was flooded, while the oldest part of the residential area called “Uptown” was not.

Kralizec on December 29, 2006 at 3:23 AM

We’d all understand if we could only see Shep and Geraldo pick cry like babies while holding young black children. Blame Bush.

RightWinged on December 29, 2006 at 6:22 AM

“We cannot allow our police officers to shoot and kill our citizens without justification like rabid dogs,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan Jr. said. “The rules governing the use of lethal force are not suspended during a state of emergency. Everyone, including police officers, must abide by the law of the land

1) From what I saw, many of the residents of NO(including the famous Wal-Mart shopping cops) acted exactly like rabid dogs.The place looked like downtown Mogadishu.

2) The rules governing the use of lethal force are not suspended during a state of emergency? It didn’t stop the police chief from trying to suspend the second amendment!

quax1 on December 29, 2006 at 6:24 AM

Kralizec: You don’t know what the hell you are talking about…The “Uptown” area is slightly higher in elevation and is protected by a large levee where St. Charles and Carrolton join…the neutral ground on Carrolton, elevation wise, is almost 2 ft higher than ground in the lower 9th. At one time, the area below Lee’s Circle was much more desirable than “Uptown”…also, the reason that most people moved uptown was to get away from the smell of the mud flats and the mosquitos…BTW did you get a new Dictionary for Christmas…sounds like it.

DoctorDentons on December 29, 2006 at 7:11 AM

Kralizec: Furthe…The Danziger Bridge does NOT connect New Orleans to Algiers…there are only two ways you can get from New Orleans to Algiers…the Ferry or the GNO Bridge…they should have given you an Atlas with that dictinary.

DoctorDentons on December 29, 2006 at 8:13 AM

“If this was truly premeditated murder by these cops then this should be a capital crime.”

In fact, they could be charged under federal law for violating the victim’s civil rights under color of law and if convicted, could be sentenced to death.

I do not know if this was premeditated or not. I frankly, have no idea as to exactly what transpired. Given NOLA Police’s reputation and the reputation for corruption that Louisiana has in general, justice might be better served if it was prosecuted in the federal courts.

georgej on December 29, 2006 at 8:19 AM

DA’s gone wild.

right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 8:24 AM

Like Paris Hilton getting out of a car with a short skirt, the DA’s have found a way to get press time and their 15 minutes of fame.
This is like a epidemic, Denver, Durham, New Orleans, each trying to outdo the other in rhetoric. Using words to boslter their case, rather than facts.

right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 8:30 AM

Incompetence in the state capital, the mayor’s office in New Orleans, and now the police department.

Let’s face it, Louisianna is broken and beyond repair. Too bad we just can’t toss it out with the other refuse left behind by Katrina. Who has had control over this state for as long as I can remember? Could it be Satan the Dems?

A side note: CNN has found a bash-the-administration goldmine in the aftermath of Katrina. We can expect the Commie News Network to milk this story as long as possible, and with the help of the Breck Girl visiting the area every time his poll numbers drop a point, the reporting on this accident of nature will go on ad infinitem.

fogw on December 29, 2006 at 8:44 AM

* as a Hot Air guest blogger

You’re just a guest? Too bad.

Esthier on December 29, 2006 at 8:50 AM

* as a Hot Air guest blogger, I am permitted to write an “EXIT QUESTION:”, and arch my eyebrow while I type it.

See-Dubya

Excellent imagery.

Jaibones on December 29, 2006 at 9:04 AM

Hard to see premeditation on this one. Did the cops sit around the doughnut shop saying “Hey lets go to the bridge and blow some people away?”

or

Were the cops responding to gunfire and this guy got caught in the cross fire?

Or

Was it blatant disregard of the rules and the cops just shot the guy because they could?

By his account, he and Ronald were running away, toward the crest of the half-mile-long bridge, when a police team arrived in a rental truck and opened fire.

Lance Madison said a police officer pointed a rifle at Ronald and shot him as the two brothers were running up the bridge.

So if you are running away from the cops shooting at you how do see the cops aim at your brother? Someone needs to coach this guy on his testimony.

he and Ronald were walking across the Danziger Bridge toward another brother’s dental office that Sunday morning when teenagers ran up from behind and opened fire.

I wonder what the cops should do next time….use harsh language?

There is certainly enough blame and criticism to go around.

If the cops are guilty then they need to be punished.

VikingGoneWild on December 29, 2006 at 9:25 AM

Has the DA charged those cops that were on video looting in Wal-Mart yet?

JayHaw Phrenzie on December 29, 2006 at 9:58 AM

In fact, they could be charged under federal law for violating the victim’s civil rights under color of law and if convicted, could be sentenced to death.

Civil Rights laws are evil, and so is anyone who wants to see them used.

Ask the cops in the Rodney King case about Double Jeopardy. Those who support Civil Rights argue that Double Jeopardy does not apply because they were charged with a different crime. Well if the founding Fathers intended for every crime to be defined multiple ways … they would not of bothered with their protection from Double Jeopardy any way.

Bottom line is if you believe every crime can be defined several ways, you invalidate the Bill of Rights, you are evil, and the tools you used, the “Civil Rights Laws”, are evil.

Mark was here on December 29, 2006 at 10:22 AM

This is like a epidemic, Denver, Durham, New Orleans, each trying to outdo the other in rhetoric. Using words to boslter their case, rather than facts.
right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 8:30 AM

What does Denver have to do with anything here?

shooter on December 29, 2006 at 10:50 AM

What does Denver have to do with anything here?

Think ‘Kobe Bryant’. Think ‘Rush to judgement’. Think ‘Nancy Grace never saw an innocent defendant in her life.’ Not just Nancy, but the entire media has someone convicted before the trial begins.

The Monster on December 29, 2006 at 11:10 AM

The local coverage on this is better, as you’d expect, although they didn’t get around to a perfunctory mention of the cops’ side of the story until page four. And here’s an interesting tidbit, emphasis added:

Both Donovan Livaccari, FOP employee representative, and Glasser called the indictments a political gambit by Jordan to win the allegiance of voters distrustful of police officers. Both also said that Jordan misled several of the officers involved, granting them immunity so they would testify and then indicting them.

Laura on December 29, 2006 at 11:23 AM

shooter on December 29, 2006 at 10:50 AM

The DA jumped the gun and went to the news regarding the breaking news of capturing the murderer of Ramsey.
The point is that DA’s are using the press for the 15 minutes of fame.

right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 12:21 PM

The Monster on December 29, 2006 at 11:10 AM

Thanks Monster (forgot about Bryant), I posted before I read yours. You can pick most any city and the DA’s are hoping to get CNN or Fox time.
It is time to shut them up, they are there for one reason, to make sure justice is done, not to try a case or present a case to the public.

right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 12:26 PM

Laura on December 29, 2006 at 11:23 AM

The old “the cops are out to get you” trick. Aimed at the, let’s be honest, the black community. The democrats have kept the minorities on the plantation, kept them un-educated, so they can feed them this garbage. Every inner-city has these racists profiteers.

right2bright on December 29, 2006 at 12:30 PM

right2bright – yep, exactly. Although in all fairness, around here sometimes the cops really are out to get you. But it’s become one big O.J. jury pool, so this is going to be tried on the emotions, not the facts, and it’s all about jury selection, not justice.

Laura on December 29, 2006 at 12:50 PM

Has the DA charged those cops that were on video looting in Wal-Mart yet?

What? Are you kidding?

New Orleans Police Looters

SilverStar830 on December 29, 2006 at 4:22 PM

What about the former police chief that was getting federal funds for about 400 phantom officers that did not exist.

Louisiana is so corrupt that everyone in Government office should be investigated and banned from ever seeking employment in the public sector.

DA’s have been getting away with poisoning the Jury Pool for a long time. It violates to the Constitution. They never read the part that says innocent until proven guilty in a COURT of law. Not in the media

ScottyDog on December 29, 2006 at 5:45 PM

For one thing, even within the reportedly rather corrupt NOPD, I don’t see seven cops engaging in premeditated homicide for no apparent reason.

Uhmmm, what do they call shooting people in the back where you come from? If you read the sentence that you wrote, it seems that you are predisposed to ALWAYS believe the police, or at least “give them the benefit of the doubt”. That in my opinion is as flawed a bit of reasoning as ALWAYS presuming cops to be guilty. I notice that you didn’t let any Facts color your predisposed opinion either way…like corpses with bullet holes in the back.

One of the victims was a mentally retarded man, Ronald Madison, who had been shot seven times — five times in the back, according to the coroner.

Accidental shooting, even manslaughter, I might understand.

Uhhhh how do you “accidentally ” shoot someone FIVE TIMES in the BACK? Jeez I guess pro cop bias runs deep huh? The only facts in evidence are that someone was shot in the back. That certainly doesn’t in ANYWAY lean towards anything “Accidental” but here you are with the defense all ready. Boy, all I can say is I sincerely hope that there is no one on the Jury like you.

Soothsayer on December 29, 2006 at 8:25 PM

I don’t see seven cops engaging in premeditated homicide for no apparent reason.

Maybe you should get out more. Fort Apache the Bronx mean anything to you? Rampart division in L.A. where the cops where selling dope, strong arming dealers, killing competitors and planting evidence on the uncooperative, ring a bell? How about the fact that the corruption which you have trouble opening your eyes to, was so widespread that HUNDREDS of PROSECUTIONS had to be OVERTURNED because they were made with tainted evidence? The lead criminal cop testified about a “hit squad’ within Rampart that would exact revenge with those kind of preplanned murders that you are reluctant to ratify. WAKE UP. Police are not Apostles, they are PEOPLE subject to ALL THE FLAWS of humanity. They give a psyche test before one becomes a cop, you know why? Because the Psychological Profile of people who apply for jobs in law enforecement on the “danger” end of the spectrum, is someone who wants to exert authority over others because of a largely powerless existence. Now, MOST, departments are able to do quite well, in terms of weeding these folks out. BUT every now and then you get a place like RAMPART which had become a depository for every malcontent misfit in blue in the state of Southern California.. This phenomenon is no different than the plethora of inner city school teachers that have been “shuttled” from more affluent districts because of “problems” of some kine. Soon you’ve got a whole school full of misfit teachers, y’see? Same thing happens with the cops. That’s why I.A. works so hard to do follow up profiles on every nutbag that gets transferred in lieu of punishment. Food for thought.

Soothsayer on December 29, 2006 at 8:35 PM

We’d all understand if we could only see Shep and Geraldo pick cry like babies while holding young black children. Blame Bush.

RightWinged on December 29, 2006 at 6:22 AM

Yeah, they really were making much ado about nothing weren’t they? Surely all those dead people were unimportant and shouldn’t have had their stories told, right? SO WHAT if people died, all you care about is trying to belittle the plight of people who were being treated like shit by their own government, both local and federal, right? All you want out of the situation is to make fun of people who think this treatment was race related right? I mean where would they get the idea that the government might be racist? Surely there was never a race problem in America right? Would it have made you feel better if they found some White babies that had no food? If so, what does that say about you? Answer: not much.

Soothsayer on December 29, 2006 at 9:16 PM

Soothsayer and everyone else, you need to take a step back and see what comes next. If D.A. Jordan has good evidence, then he should present it through a prosecution of the individuals charged with these crimes, not in the media. NOT IN THE MEDIA.

The problem I have with this case is the same one I have with many: The trial by media of glory seeking prosecutors.

If guys like Nifong and this Jordan are allowed to do what they’re doing now, then how can “innocent until proven guilty” mean anything

I don’t pretend to know what happened on that bridge on that particular day, and neither should anyone else who wasn’t there.

Didn’t mean anything by singling you out, Soothsayer, but I know how much these kind of issues tend to rub you the wrong way, and this issue doesn’t need to be seen in that light, but in the full light of the truth being sought before judgments are made.

hillbillyjim on December 30, 2006 at 1:54 AM

frankly, I dont believe much of anything the media says anymore. It wouldn’t surprise me if “chocolate city” let the “victims” off after they attacked cops, and the cops fought back and put two of them in the ground.

Considering the reliability of the reporing being done by the MSM … I don’t think we’ll ever know. In any case, I feel sorry for who EVER might be the real victims here. Too bad we’ll never know.

One Angry Christian on December 31, 2006 at 11:34 AM