Tag: Danziger Bridge
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has overturned the conviction of former New Orleans police officer David Warren, one of the former cops tried and convicted of an assortment of charges related to the murder of Henry Glover, who was shot by police and later burned in an abandoned car by cops just days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans more than seven years ago.
In an historic verdict with national implications, five New Orleans police officers were convicted on Friday of civil rights violations for killing unarmed African Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and could face life in prison when sentenced later this year.
The prosecution rested its case last week in the Danziger Bridge police violence trial with one final witness testimony, perhaps the most moving, from Lesha Bartholomew. Bartholomew broke into tears as she described seeing her mother wounded, with her arm nearly shot off.
Opening arguments begin today in what observers have called the most important trial New Orleans has seen in a generation. It is a shocking case of police brutality that has already redefined this city’s relationship to its police department and radically rewritten the official narrative of what happened in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.
In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters. “We have authority by martial law to shoot looters,” Capt. James Scott told a few dozen officers. Warren Riley, then the department’s second-in-command, said to “take the city back and shoot looters.”
Fighters for justice welcomed the guilty plea by a New Orleans police lieutenant Feb. 24 that he spearheaded a massive cover-up of the police shooting of six unarmed Black civilians as they walked across the Danziger Bridge Sept. 4, 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The veil of authority and legitimacy shielding most urban police forces against popular suspicion and distrust simply doesn’t exist in New Orleans. Hardly anyone likes or trusts the po-po. The actual point of this piece is to reflect a little on the war currently raging between the people of New Orleans and the NOPD.