Thursday, April 05, 2012

Justice for Katrina

On September 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, members of the New Orleans Police Department opened fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family on the Danziger Bridge. Two people were killed and four injured. The police officers then attempted to cover up their crime, claiming that they had been fired on and were forced to return fire. Today, five of the police officers involved were held accountable for their crimes:

Five former New Orleans police officers who shot six unarmed civilians, two fatally, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have been jailed.

The prison terms range from six to 65 years for the shootings on the Danziger Bridge in September 2005.

Four of the officers were found guilty of firearms offences and the fifth was jailed for helping the cover-up.

The officers planted a gun and fabricated witnesses and false reports to make the shootings appear justified.

Another five officers had already plead guilty, receiving sentences of between three and eight years (the judge in the case criticised the generosity of their plea-bargains, which smack of law enforcement looking out for their own). One more is yet to stand trial.

Its some justice, but not enough. Real justice will only be seen when the New Orleans Police Department rids itself of the racist attitudes behind the killings, and the code of silence which allowed them to be covered up.