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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Update: 5 New Orleans Police Officers Sentenced In Hurricane Katrina Killings
2012-04-05 02:59:32 (124 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

Four New Orleans police officers have been sentenced to decades in prison over the killing of two people and wounding of four others fleeing the massive flooding of the city by hurricane Katrina.

A fifth officer was sent to jail for his role in a web of fabrications to cover up the true circumstances of the shootings on the Danziger bridge in 2005. The shootings came to symbolize the behavior of a police force regarded as out of control in the chaotic aftermath of the hurricane which claimed nearly 2,000 lives and flooded about 80% of New Orleans.

The policemen were prosecuted in federal court after Louisiana state authorities declined to charge them. The federal investigation revealed a coverup that involved planted evidence, invented witnesses and falsified police reports that prosecutors said exposed a culture of corruption and a code of silence in the New Orleans police department.

Prosecutors described a force in disarray during the hurricane, with some officers dedicated to saving lives while others armed themselves with their own automatic weapons and behaved like vigilantes. Senior officers spread false assertions that martial law was declared and encouraged the shooting of looters.

Two officers – sergeants Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius – were sentenced on Wednesday to 40 years in prison years for killing 17-year-old James Brissette and wounding four other people. Another officer, Anthony Villavaso, received 38 years for the same crime.

The court heard that Bowen used an unauthorized AK-47 to spray bullets at a group of civilians hiding behind a concrete barrier. Gisevius used a military-style M-4 rifle to shoot at unarmed people. Villavaso fired at least nine bullets at civilians with his AK-47.

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A fourth policeman, Robert Faulcon, was sentenced to 65 years for killing Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man with learning difficulties, by shooting him in the back with a shotgun. Madison's brother, Lance, was then arrested and accused of attempted murder after the police tried to cover up their actions by falsely accusing him of shooting at officers on the bridge. He was held in jail for three weeks before a court freed him.

Lance Madison told the court immediately before the sentencing that his brother was "gunned down and killed without mercy". He said to the convicted officers: "You are the reason I can no longer trust law enforcement."

The four officers were also convicted of an extensive coverup along with a former sergeant, Arthur Kaufman, who was not present when the shootings occurred. The coverup included the officers falsely claiming that they responded to a report of a fellow policeman having been shot and that at least four people opened fire on them when they arrived at the bridge. Kaufman will serve six years in prison.

Sherrel Johnson, Brissette's mother, repeated several times in an emotional statement directed at her son's killers: "I can't for the life of me understand what they were thinking."

Bowen's father, also called Kenneth, said he was proud of his son and that he had made a split-second decision and then acted "in what he thought was the best interest of the community".

The officers sentenced on Wednesday are among 20 policemen charged over killings, assaults and the fabrication of evidence during Katrina. Some have received lengthy sentences in earlier trials. Others pleaded guilty and gave evidence against former colleagues.

In a separate trial last year, three officers were convicted last year over the shooting a young black man and then burning his body in a car.

David Warren was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for killing Henry Glover, 31. Another officer, Greg McRae, was sent to prison for 17 years for setting fire to a car with Glover's body in it in an apparent attempt to cover up Warren's crime.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Washington, D.C., Correspondent Chris McGreal in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/04/new-orleans-police-officers-katrina


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