by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
The police officers involved in the fatal shooting on Danziger Bridge after Katrina have been found guilty on a combined 25 counts of civil rights violations. Just six days after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, police shot and killed two men — James Brissette, 17, and Ronald Madison, 40 — leaving 4 others wounded. Those injured and killed were family members simply seeking safety from the flooding. According to reports, they were unarmed and not presenting a threat. Madison is said to have been mentally ill.
Ironically, six years later, the five policemen associated with the shooting were found guilty after just three days of deliberation by jurors. Rollingout.com reports, “The five men are scheduled to be sentenced on December 14. Four of them are facing potential multiple life sentences, as well as additional penalties for charges tied to a conspiracy to cover up the killings. One of the convicted men faces a maximum penalty of 120 years in prison.”
Other policemen associated with the shooting have already been convicted. In fact, Michael Hunter pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy in obstructing justice and is serving eight years behind bars. On August 5th U.S. Attorney Jim Letten made a public statement saying, “Today’s verdict by these jurors sends a powerful, a powerful, unmistakable message to public servants, to law enforcement officers and to the citizens we serve and indeed to the world. The citizens of this country will not, should not, and we intend that they will never have to fear the individuals who are called upon to protect them.”
Ayvaunn Penn is the founder of Your Black Poets and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. To inquire about her freelance editing services, click here. To like Ayvaunn on Facebook, click here.