April 5, 2012– On Wednesday, five former members of the police department in New Orleans were sentenced for their participation in the shooting incident on Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. The shooting left two people dead and another four seriously injured.
Four of the former officers received sentences between 38 and 65 years. Arthur Kauffman, the fifth officer, who did not participate in the bridge shootings however, was involved in the attempted cover up, was sentenced to six years.
This particular case was the most well known of a number of incidents that took place involving violent police misconduct, following Hurricane Katrina. Many parts of the city at that time were under water, filled with looters and public services such as the police were in complete disarray.
Last August, the jury found the former law enforcement officers guilty, following a trial that last six weeks, of federal obstruction of justice and civil rights statutes. Four of the five were members of a group of officers that stormed the bridge on September 4, 2005 following a radio call that other officers were taking fire.
Prosecutors claimed the officers fired upon a family who were unarmed and looking for food and some supplies. The gunfire killed a friend of the family and wound another four people. A few minutes later, the officers shot and killed another victim.