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Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. The impact of Katrina and government bungling continue to inflict major pain on the people left behind. It is impossible to understand what happened and what still remains without considering race, gender and poverty. The following offer some hints of what remains.
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.”
Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat. Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation.