New Orleans prosecutor to review police shooting

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - An incident in which New Orleans police killed two suspected snipers accused of firing at officers in the chaos following Hurricane Katrina will be reviewed by prosecutors, the district attorney said on Thursday.

    New Orleans homicide detectives are compiling a report on the September 4 shooting on Danziger Bridge, the single biggest police action in the weeks that followed the August 29 killer storm, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said.

    Police confronted a group of seven people, including a 17-year-old girl, on the bridge that Sunday morning. Six were shot by police, two fatally.

    The police said officers fired after being shot at by members of the group and after rescue workers in boats reported having taken fire from the bridge.

    But police accounts of important details of the incident have changed over time, including references to the size of the group and how many were killed, whether they were all men and if they were looting.

    The incident was widely reported at the time as evidence of the crime-ridden chaos that descended on the city after Katrina struck.

    New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan said on Thursday he had requested the findings of homicide investigators to review. "We expect to get a report from the police department about the killings that took place," Jordan told Reuters.

    Prosecutors would "examine the report and determine whether it was a justifiable homicide or whether further investigation is required," Jordan said.

    A police spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

    The investigation comes when the conduct of the embattled New Orleans Police Department is under scrutiny. About 15 percent of the force failed to report for duty after Katrina, and 56 staff members have been fired for desertion.

    An incident in which police officers were accused of taking Cadillacs from an auto dealer after the storm will also be reviewed by prosecutors, Jordan said.


    The Danziger Bridge incident came almost a week after Katrina struck and when almost 80 percent of New Orleans was underwater and tens of thousands of people were stranded inside the Superdome and convention center.

    New Orleans police initially described those on the bridge as male "looters" and said they had shot as many as eight and killed four.

    In fact, police said last month the group included two women: Susan Bartholomew, 39, and 17-year-old Leisha Bartholomew, both of whom were wounded in the encounter but have not been charged.

    An apparent relative, Leonard Bartholomew, 44, was also treated for gunshot wounds and released from a hospital without being charged.

    A month after the incident, police said one of the suspected gunmen who has not been identified by authorities had been shot and killed on a bridge walkway. A second ran to a nearby motel where police said he "reached into his waist" and turned toward an officer who then shot and killed him.

    A third, 19-year-old Jose Holmes, was wounded and faces possible attempted murder charges for firing on police, authorities said.

    Police said they had no motive to explain why the men opened fire on officers.

    The incident came after U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors working on a levee breach reported having taken fire. It was not clear the two incidents were related.

    In a September 18 story in the Los Angeles Times, one officer said he had been summoned to back up police confronting "snipers" in a motel near the Danziger Bridge.

    The officer, Patrick Hartman, described the suspects as a "bunch of crackheads" and said police brought their own arms to the encounter since ammunition was in short supply.

    "Everybody brought along their own toys -- AK-47s, SKSs (carbines), hunting rifles," he told the newspaper.

  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Gee, wonder if the bangers in blue with shields were just trying to roll a family who wasnt willing to let it happen? Kind of the way it sounds, and isnt it just oh so confidence building that the police are investigateing what the cops did. :eek: [peep]
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