07/16/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
New Orleans, LA—Four police officers could face the death penalty with regard to the fatal shootings of two unarmed civilians, just days after Hurricane Katrina plagued the area. The officers, as well as two others deputies from the New Orleans Police Department (NODP), were charged in connection with the Danziger Bridge massacre and its subsequent cover-up Tuesday, July 13, 2010, according to information provided by the New York Daily News, as well as previous reports by Justice News Flash.
The case stems from the September 4, 2005 shooting of six unarmed people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Four officers, identified as Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso, were accused of gunning down several innocent civilians
According to a 27-count indictment, four NOPD officers “open fired on an unarmed family on the east side of the bridge,” resulting in the death of 19-year-old James Brissette. Several others suffered injuries in that shooting.
Not long after, the indictment contends the unruly officers began shooting at two brothers, later identified as Ronald and Lance Madison. Lance was wounded in the gunfire. His brother suffered fatal injuries.
Officer Faulcon reportedly shot Ronald, described as “a 40-year-old man with severe mental disabilities,” in the back as he attempted to make an escape. “Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Ronald Madison while Ronald was wounded, but not yet dead. Ronald later died at the scene,” the indictment alleged.
Additionally, two other officers were charged with “helping to obstruct justice” through their participation in a cover-up of the shootings.
Former NOPD Officer Michael Hunter plead guilty to charges in connection with the shootings in April, providing the first glimpse into what actually happened on that horrific day. Hunter contended that while attending a meeting set up to plan a cover-up of the shootings, a police lieutenant in attendance reportedly stated, “We don’t want this to look like a massacre.”
According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, “We will not tolerate wrongdoing by those sworn to protect the public—this will not stand.”
Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Louisiana Criminal Lawyers.
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