New Orleans Cops Charged With Murder

Posted on August 5, 2011

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HALEY NELSON

Not all of New Orleans secrets were washed away with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

A verdict in federal court today brought closure to a six-year-old case that found five New Orleans police officers guilty of shooting six citizens, two whom died, and devising an extensive cover-up in the time after.

The officers were convicted on 25 counts after the murder and deception that took place on Danzinger Bridge in Eastern New Orleans on September 4, 2005, days after the devastating hurricane stuck the city.

Responding to a distress call from another officer, four of the officers raced to the bridge in a Budget rental truck the morning of the crime.

The group immediately opened fire upon exiting the vehicle, firing on the Bartholomew family, who were walking to a grocery story in the abandoned city.

Courtesy of http://www.nola.com. From top left: Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Arthur Kaufman and Anthony Villavaso.

Several officers chased two brothers to the other end of the bridge, where they shot Ronald Madison – a 40-year-old mentally disabled man. One sergeant was convicted of stomping Mr. Madison in the back as he lay dying.

Seventeen-year-old family friend James Brisette was killed in the confusion, while four others were wounded.

According to The New York Times, “The cover-up began immediately, prosecutors said, and the jury found all of the officers as well as retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, guilty on charges of obstructing justice, fabricating witnesses, lying to federal investigators or planting a firearm at the scene to bolster a made-up story.”

No guns were recovered from the scene, and witnesses testified that the victims were all unarmed at the time of the attack. Sentencing will begin December 14.

(Featured Image Courtesy of Courthouse News Service.)

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Posted in: National