R. Reese Fuller

New Orleans cops cleared

by R. Reese Fuller

The Associated Press reports that District Judge Raymond Bigelow tossed out charges against seven New Orleans police officers for killing two men on the Danziger Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to the BBC :

Survivors of the shooting on 4 September 2005 have said that police officers fired at unarmed people crossing the bridge to get food at a grocery store.

Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, and James Brissette, 19, were shot and killed, and four other people were wounded.

While the police officers have acknowledged shooting at people on the bridge, they say they only did so after first coming under fire.

Investigators later revealed that at least some of the shooting was by residents trapped by floodwater trying to attract the attention of rescue parties.

Bigelow ruled that the prosecutors had leaked secret gand jury testimony to a witness and violated state law.