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View Diary: NOLA Danziger Bridge Katrina verdict overturned: Horrendous prosecutorial misconduct (19 comments)

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  •  Some of NOLA.com's take on this decision... (17+ / 0-)

    Judge grants new trial for ex-New Orleans police officers convicted in notorious Danziger Bridge slayings after Hurricane Katrina

    All were tried and convicted in 2011 for their roles. They sought a new trial last year alleging prosecutorial misconduct, citing among other examples the revelations that prosecutors in Letten's office had authored disparaging comments on NOLA.com about defendants in several criminal cases, including the Danziger case.
    ...
    The revelations and other instances of misconduct prompted Engelhardt to call for a criminal probe of former prosecutors Sal Perricone and Jan Mann, neither of whom were directly involved in prosecuting the Danziger Bridge case. Tuesday's order alluded to additional misconduct uncovered by that probe.
    Note: Letten is Jim Letten of James O'Keefe fame.

    The NOLA.com posts, referred to in the article above are related to this:

    It seemed like a far-fetched allegation when it surfaced in March 2012: A prolific and caustic commenter on NOLA.com, "Henry L. Mencken1951," was a prosecutor in then-U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office who used online comments to disparage federal targets. Soon, Sal Perricone was unmasked as the author, unleashing a chain of events that forced Letten out of office, ignited an internal investigation and led to the sudden end this year of the sprawling River Birch probe.

    Yet few court observers had expected the legal bombshell that came Tuesday.

    Citing Perricone's and other instances of prosecutorial misconduct, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhard order a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge shooting and cover-up after Hurricane Katrina.

    What happened on the Danziger was horrific.  This is the "Shooting Incident" section from Wiki:
    On September 4, 2005, New Orleans police received a call from an officer at Danziger Bridge reporting gunfire. Several NOPD officers—including Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Sgt. Robert Gisevius, Officer Anthony Villavaso, and Officer Robert Faulcon—arrived at the scene in a Budget rental truck. They proceeded to open fire with assault rifles and a shotgun on an unarmed family, the Bartholomews, who had been walking to a grocery store and were then sheltering behind a concrete barrier.[4] 17-year-old James Brissette—a family friend—was killed, and four other people were wounded.[5] Two brothers, Ronald and Lance Madison, fled the scene, but were pursued down the bridge by Gisevius and Faulcon in an unmarked state police vehicle. Faulcon fired his shotgun from the back of the car at Ronald, a developmentally disabled man who would later die from his injuries.[4] Bowen was later convicted of stomping him on the back before he died,[5] though this conviction was overturned for lack of physical evidence.[4] Lance Madison was then taken into custody and accused of the attempted murder of police officers.[6]

    No weapons were recovered at the scene, and both police and civilian witnesses testified that the victims had been unarmed.[5] Later investigation showed that some shots had been fired in the area by trapped residents attempting to attract the attention of rescuers.[7]

    Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

    by Hey338Too on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:21:21 PM PDT

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