Conyers Responds to Revelations on Katrina Crimes
Responding to a ProPublica/Nation investigation into vigilante violence after Hurricane Katrina, Rep. John Conyers issued a public statement expressing concern. The investigation details how some white residents in New Orleans’ Algiers Point neighborhood repeatedly attacked African American men after the storm struck.
In interviews, eyewitnesses—including some of the vigilantes themselves and two men who were blasted with a shotgun—describe a string of shootings in which at least 11 people were wounded or killed. Here’s a video on the violence, featuring interviews with some of the vigilantes, including one who says, “It was great! It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”
“I am deeply disturbed by the reported incidents in Algiers Point, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina,” said Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Algiers Point residents, Conyers continued, “allegedly shot randomly at African Americans who had fled to the area escaping the effects of the storm. Several injuries and deaths were reported. I am particularly concerned about accounts that local police fueled, rather than extinguished, the violence.”
Also, Color of Change, a California-based activist group, launched an online campaign urging “Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate” the Algiers Point attacks.
New Orleans police are under scrutiny because of shootings of civilians after Katrina.