http://www.wdsu.com/news/15301432/detail.html# NEW ORLEANS -- A firestorm of controversy ensued after Mayor Ray Nagin, sporting a broad smile, seemed to aim an assault rifle at Police Superintendent Warren Riley in a Times-Picayune newspaper photo.Watch The Story | Poll: Did He Do It On Purpose?The photograph has pervaded talk radio and cyberspace, creating blog chatter and a forum for public opinion. Many pundits, bloggers and forum-posters took aim at the mayor. The shot was taken at a public unveiling of new additions to the New Orleans Police Department’s arsenal.“When most saw it, they were horrified,” Loyola University professor of communications Dr. Robert Thomas said. “The way people feel about guns, with the murder rate here, it’s something we have to deal with.”Meanwhile, video shows the mayor waving the rifle around in front of the police chief and the crowd, leading some to say that the mayor didn’t intentionally take aim at the chief."It continues the national embarassment from silly things that happen in our city," Thomas said.In a statement, Nagin claimed “the photo grossly misrepresented the mayor and the police chief. The event was to feature the department’s new crime-fighting equipment. The mayor continues to be on the front lines to secure resources for agencies that are struggling to rebuild.”The Times-Picayune would not comment when contacted on its publication of the photo. But, Thursday morning, following its review of the video, the newspaper published the following statement: "A photo in some Metro sections and on NOLA.com on Wednesday showed a laughing Mayor Ray Nagin pointing an M-4 rifle at Chief of Police Warren Riley at a news conference to announce new crime fighting equipment purchased by the New Orleans Police Department. A review of a video taken at the event shows that the mayor momentarily pointed the gun at the chief as he was lowering it but he did not deliberately point it at Riley.