Hurricane Katrina was by far the worst natural disaster to ever happen on American soil. The loss of life devastating and an unimaginable amount of families who lost everything they. After the hurricane had done all that it was going to do, the after effects were tremendously horrendous. While the residents who remained after Katrina’s wrath swept through the area, tragedy happened on the Danziger Bridge where officers killed 2 men and wounded 4 others then planted a gun on one of the victims who was unarmed at the time to “justify” the shooting and falsified reports related to the case. It seems the 5 officers will not be doing as much prison time as once thought. EarHustle411 and the writing staff sees this as a serious miscarriage of justice. Authorities are continuously being given slaps on the wrist for heinous crimes committed while in uniform.
Read more as reported by African Globe:
Five former police officers pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced number of charges in the deadly shootings on the Danziger Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina and are expected to be sentenced to far less prison time than they originally faced.
The officers were convicted in 2011 but U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt set aside the jury’s verdict two years later because of alleged misconduct by federal prosecutors — including anonymous online comments about the case.
Four of the former officers have been locked up for nearly six years while the fifth has been out on bond. Their original convictions called for them to serve anywhere from 65 years to six years in prison. The plea deal has them serving a range of 12 to three years.
On Sept. 4, 2005, days after the levees failed and water swamped the city, police murdered 17-year-old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who were both unarmed, and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge. To cover it up, the officers planted a gun, fabricated witnesses and falsified reports, prosecutors have said.
Police said at the time the officers were responding to a report of other officers down when they came under fire.
However, after hearing from five dozen witnesses and examining 400 pieces of evidence during a monthlong trial, a federal jury convicted the officers for opening fire and trying to cover up wrongdoing.
Former officer Robert Faulcon was sentenced to 65 years in prison; ex-Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius each received 40 years; Anthony Villavaso got 38 years; and Arthur Kaufman, now out on bond, received a six-year sentence.
Under the new plea agreement, they will get credit for time served and they could be released from prison anywhere from the next one to six years.
A scandal involving Justice Department employees unraveled the convictions and sentences. In September 2013, the judge said the case had been tainted by “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct,” including leaks to media and posting of anonymous comments by at least three government attorneys on a New Orleans newspaper’s website.
Prosecutors have argued that there is no evidence the misconduct affected the verdict.
Source: African Globe