2 New Orleans Cops Convicted in 2005 Beating Death of Civilian

By Allan Lengel

More unflattering news about New Orleans cops.

Two New Orleans cops were convicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans of civil rights and obstruction of justice violations in the July 30, 2005 beating death of a civilian Raymond Robair and the cover up, the Justice Department announced. Sentencing was set for July 14.

Authorities said Officer Melvin Williams was convicted of beating of the citizen. Several witnesses testified in trial that they saw Williams kick Robair in the side and beat him repeatedly with a baton.

Afterward the beating, Officer Williams and Officer Matthew Dean Moore placed Robair, who was unconscious, into a police car, authorities said. They then drove him to Charity Hospital in New Orleans and told the hospital that they had found Robair under a bridge and he was a drug user.  As a result, the hospital treated him for a drug overdose rather than blunt for trauma, and he died, authorities said.

Williams was also convicted along with  Officer Matthew Dean Moore “of obstructing justice by writing and submitting a false and inaccurate incident report regarding their interactions with Robair. Moore was also convicted of one additional felony count for making false statements regarding the incident to FBI agents in March 2010.”

“Every community relies upon their police officers to protect and serve, but these officers abused their power, violating the law and the public trust,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I am hopeful that today’s verdict brings a measure of justice to the victim’s family and the entire community.”

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