Police Indicted in New Orleans Shooting Spree
In a credibility contest between the police and almost anyone else, the police usually win. Not so in New Orleans, where a grand jury rejected the official account of police shootings on the Danziger Bridge six days after Hurricane Katrina. The police justified the slaying of two people and the wounding of four others as “an appropriate response to reports of both sniper fire and people shooting at police officers near the bridge.”
Lance Madison was arrested for shooting at cops, but a grand jury refused to indict him. Instead, it indicted seven officers for a variety of charges that include murder.
There may well have been shots fired near the bridge before the police arrived, but survivors of the shooting spree filed a lawsuit that raises serious questions about the claimed justification for gunning down the (apparently unarmed) people on the bridge.
On Sept. 4 about 9 a.m., Ronald and Lance Madison walked near the top of the Danziger Bridge, returning to their brother's dental office on Chef Menteur Highway after a failed attempt to go to their mother's home in eastern New Orleans. Ronald Madison, who was severely retarded, had insisted on staying in the city because he could not bear to leave behind the family dachshunds, Bobbi and Sushi. ... At the same time, according to the lawsuits, another group of people was walking at the base of the bridge on a trek to a nearby Winn Dixie to retrieve food and water. ...
Suddenly, the people on the bridge were confronted by a hail of gunfire coming from a group of men in "dark clothing" who had emerged from the back of a rental truck at the foot of the bridge, the lawsuits said.
The men “turned out to be the seven heavily armed, out-of-uniform police officers [who were] indicted on Thursday.”
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