Charges Dismissed Against New Orleans Officers

Criminal charges against seven New Orleans police officers accused of shooting unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina have been dismissed due to the prosecution's misconduct.

According to the Times-Picayune, District Judge Raymond Bigelow agreed with defense arguments that prosecutors violated state law by divulging secret grand jury testimony to a police officer who was a witness in the case.

The shootings were gruesome. A developmentally disabled man was shot in the back. Part of a woman's arm was "blown off." Two men died. Yet the officers were cleared by the New Orleans Police Department's internal investigation. And thanks to the inability of the district attorney's office to play by the rules, they've escaped criminal prosecution.

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    LOL You don't know NOLA cops (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by angie on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:49:10 PM EST
    Hopefully, these officers will accept this prosecutorial faux pas as their own mulligan, and work from this dy forward to become exemplary citizens.

    Nice sentiment, but don't hold your breath. This experience will just reinforce the idea that "they" can get away with anything.

    I suspect that breaking the rules (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Prabhata on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 01:55:36 AM EST
    Maybe I'm more cynical today than I was yesterday, but I doubt that the rules were not broken on purpose.  Those prosecutors should now be charged with divulging grand jury testimony.  Isn't that a crime?

    There's a saying in NOLA, my hometown (none / 0) (#1)
    by angie on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:37:16 PM EST
    "The bad guys don't wear uniforms, except in New Orleans where they wear blue."

    it's nice to know some things (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:25:14 PM EST
    haven't changed in the big easy; corrupt cops and DA's.

    N'Leans (none / 0) (#5)
    by bronco214 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 11:30:23 PM EST
    Little slow on the uptake are we? I was outraged by this days ago.

    Odd that sometimes on TL (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 02:28:36 AM EST
    successful legal defenses are displayed for us as exemplary, and, sometimes, just the opposite...

    This wasn't a successful legal defense (none / 0) (#10)
    by Birmingham Blues on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:45:37 AM EST
    It was prosecutorial misconduct.

    Civil Rights Violation (none / 0) (#8)
    by downtownted on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:35:09 AM EST
    would be charged by most administrations. Where does the US Attorney stand in New Orleans?

    Civil Rights Division (none / 0) (#9)
    by Rojas on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:59:48 AM EST
    was dismantled when we reinvented government in the 90s.

    ...the reporter mentioned that the DA had sent a letter to Mukasey asking for federal charges.  I'm not holding my breath, but it could happen.

    Nice Try (none / 0) (#12)
    by Richard in Jax on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:46:11 AM EST
    But you don't have to be a legal professional to know that the prosecutor and the cops perceive themselves to be on the same team. This "leak" by the quarterback allows the running backs to walk. How convenient...given the evidence against them.