Every single day of the year, the police protect and serve the public. Although I think there are too many of them and they’ve been militarized unnecessarily, I reserve the right to change my tune if I’m getting the crap kicked out of me on a city street or assuming a defensive position in a home invasion. All that said, there are more than a “few bad apples” in our local constabulary. I can state without reservation that I have reservations about the police’s ability to screen-out thugs and police themselves. And that’s at the best of times. At the worst of times, this via Reuters . . .

Hunter [above right], in the most detailed account to date of the shooting on the Danziger Bridge, said the officer stood above three men and two women and sprayed them with bullets at close range as they lay terrified on a sidewalk on September 4, 2005.

“He fired indiscriminately at the people,” Hunter testified, identifying the shooter as Sgt. Kenneth Bowen [above left], a New Orleans police officer on trial along with four others in connection with the shooting that day, as much of the city remained underwater after the storm.

His testimony came during the second week of the federal trial of officers charged with civil rights violations in connection with the shooting deaths of two unarmed civilians, the wounding of four others and an alleged cover-up that lasted several years.

Bowen, sergeants Robert Gisevius and Arthur Kaufman, and officers Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso face possible life sentences if convicted.

Good God. How did these people ever get to be police in the first place? Wait, don’t tell me. That’s enough slime for one afternoon.

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11 Responses to “Rising from his seat at the witness stand in a New Orleans courtroom, Michael Hunter lifted a model AK-47 assault rifle to demonstrate on Wednesday how a fellow police officer blasted five civilians during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina”

  1. wow, where to start with this one… drunk on power, terrified, racist, sociopaths. These weak individuals need to never see the light of day again

  2. I read an interesting book in college (the name escapes me) about community policing. The ex-cop who wrote it was brought in to help clean up the NOPD (this was pre Katrina). He told stories about NOPD officers taking out hits on their wives and shooting their partners just to keep some money from a robbery call. Seems like New Orleans has always had trouble screening their people.

  3. From the reuters article:

    “Why were you shooting at people who were running away from you and posed no threat?” Bernstein asked him.
    “I wanted to send them a message: Don’t mess with us,” he said.

    Good lord.

  4. I used to know a former NOPD officer (pre-Katrina, mid 1990’s). He quit because of the corruption within the department. He didn’t want to take his cut of the spoils after busts/raids (as he felt it was wrong). He was later told by other officers that “One day you’re going to need backup, and it ain’t gonna be there.” After that, he decided it was time to get out.

  5. Extrajudicial beatings and executions are nothing new in New Orleans.

    A former restaurant manager that I used to know had a typical story about the NOPD. After his restaurant mysteriously burned to the ground and the meth-addicted line cook confessed at the scene, two detectives asked the manager if they should just kill the arsonist and dump his body in the bayou.

    “It’s a lot quicker than a trial, and he’ll probably get off for insanity anyway,” they advised him. He declined, and watched them beat the holy hell out of the handcuffed cook. Horrified, the manager packed his bags and left the Big Easy forever.

  6. The police in the Big Queasy are the worst-trained, lowest paid fuzz of any major city PD. A lot of cops in NO have the same game plan as every President of Mexico: steal as much as you can as quickly as you can because the job only lasts six years.

  7. We just need to take care that bad cops don’t cause us to be anti-cop. There are good men and women doing their best as LEOs

  8. I don’t think he understood the memo about being proactive in crime prevention. Seriously,this is the kind of thing you would only think you’d see on a post-apocalyptic movie. Is it really too far a reach to think that with some, we are only one disaster away from anarchy? If only for a while?

  9. It’s my understanding that the whole purpose of the cops behavior
    was to keep the residents of NO from crossing the bridge into the
    Parish on the other side, whose residents did not want the
    displaced NO residents in their town (parish). From what I’ve been
    told, it was racially motivated.

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