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Tag: New Orleans Police

New Orleans Police Reach Far-Reaching Deal with Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The New Orleans Police Department reached a landmark deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul the city’s scandal-plagued police force, the New York Times reports.

The aim of the 122-page consent decree is to improve safety in the city and end corruption and abuse.

“Effective policing and constitutional policing go hand in hand,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at an afternoon news conference with federal and local officials.

The Justice Department has consent decress with others, such as the Detroit Police Department, but none is as wide-ranging as New Orleans, the Times reported.

Holder to Announce Major Reforms for New Orleans Police Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will announce an array of reforms in the New Orleans Police Department on Tuesday as part of the most far-reaching consent decree of its kind, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

A monitor and federal judge will direct the mandated oversight spelled out in a 125-page agreement for at least four years.

The city will remain under a consent decree until the agency is free of violations for two years, the Times-Picayune wrote.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, virtually every aspect of the police force needs to be reformed.

One More Officer Sentenced in New Orleans’ Danziger Bridge Incident

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Add five years to the Danziger Bridge prison time count. A former New Orleans police officer was sentenced Thursday to five years for his role on the bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina, according to a Justice Department statement.

Robert Barrios rode with other officers in a large Budget rental truck to the bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, according to the statement. The bridge was the scene where several officers were involved in a shooting incident that left two dead civilians, seriously injured four others and drew national attention.

Barrios admitted to agreeing with officers to obstruct justice as feds investigated the incident in April of last year. He also admitted to meeting with sergeants investigating the incident, who told him and other officers to get their stories straight before making official statements. Barrios admitted to lying to cover for fellow officers and sought to provide false and misleading information to make the bridge shooting appear legally justified.

Barrios is the fifth officer to cooperate and face sentencing in the Danziger case. Also serving time in federal prisons are former Lieutenant Michael Lohman, former Detective Jeffrey Lehrmann, and former Officers Michael Hunter and Ignatius Hills.

New Orleans Cop Gets 6 1/2 Years in Infamous Danziger Bridge Incident

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, back in 2005,  came the waves of chaos and police misconduct including murder and coverups.

In New Orleans on Wednesday, former New Orleans cop Ignatius Hills was sentenced to 6 1/2 years  in prison for his role in helping officers cover up the infamous Danziger Bridge shootings  on Sept. 4, 2005, which resulted in two dead and four wounded, according to the  Justice Department.

Authorities said Hills had previously testified as a prosecution witness, which resulted in convictions of the five New Orleans cops in the Danziger Bridge shootings.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman rejected the Justice Department’s recommendation that Hills get four years. The Associated Press reported that Hills had been sufficiently rewarded for his cooperation.

In a related matter, U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance denied a government motion to reduce the eight-year sentence for former New Orleans cop Michael Hunter, who also pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government in the Danziger Bridge case, the Justice Department said.

 

Fed Jury Convicts 5 Current and Former New Orleans Cops in Danziger Bridge Shootings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury on Friday convicted five current and former New Orleans cops in the case involving the cover-up and shooting of six unarmed civilians on Danziger Bridge days after Katrina devastated the area, WWL TV reported. Two of the people died.

The station reported that defendants Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso were found guilty of the shooting of civilians and participation in the cover-up. Sgt. Arthur Kaufman was found guilty of the cover-up.

The case had been a serious blemish on a police department that had already been suffering from a less than ideal reputation.

To read the full story click here.

To read the charges click here.

3 New Orleans Cops Plead Not Guilty in Post-Katrina Shootings on Danziger Bridge

Justice Dept. to Examine New Orleans Police Department

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

Mayor Landrieu asked for Justice Dept. to intervene/city photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In response to a cry for help from the newly minted Mayor, the Justice Department announced Monday that it will conduct an evaluation of the New Orleans Police Department to figure out reforms for the troubled agency, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, attending a news conference in New Orleans with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials, said the assessment will start immediately, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Perez wrote a letter to Landrieu saying the Justice Department will “examine allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional searches and seizures, racial profiling, failures to provide adequate police services to particular neighborhoods and related misconduct.”

“We already have boots on the ground right now. We will spend a lot of time here in the weeks and months ahead in the city of New Orleans,” Perez said, according to the paper.

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Shortly after taking office,Landrieu asked the Justice Department to examine the police department. News of the assessment was first reported on Friday by the website Main Justice.

The department has been plagued by problems and tarnished lately by guilty pleas of officers involved in covering up  the infamous Danziger Bridge police shootings after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that left  two people dead and four injured.

The community distrust of the department has a been a running problem.

Ex-New Orleans Police Lt. Pleads Guilty to Covering Up Police Shooting Involving Mulitiple Victims: FBI Probe Continues

new orleans police badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In what appears to be a big break in a long drawn out investigation, a former lieutenant for the New Orleans police department pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court  to covering up a police shooting involving multiple victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department said.

Ex-Lt. Michael Lohman pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the Sept. 4, 2005 shooting on the Danziger Bridge that resulted in two people dying and four being seriously wounded. Authorities said the investigation into the matter is continuing.

Authorities said the incident involved at least seven police officers, who drove to the Danziger Bridge “in a rental truck in response to a call for police assistance.”

Read more »