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After Katrina, New Orleans Police
Shot Frequently and Asked Few Questions

Judge Hits New Orleans Cops with Harsh Sentences

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Cars pass over the Danziger Bridge on July 14, 2010 in New Orleans, La.

A federal judge today sentenced five former New Orleans police officers for their roles in the Danziger Bridge shootings, which occurred during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, killing two civilians and leaving four wounded.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt imposed sentences ranging from six to 65 years in prison on the former cops.

Robert Faulcon Jr., who was convicted of shooting the two civilians who died as well as other crimes, received the stiffest sentence. The lightest went to former Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, a police investigator who helped orchestrate the department’s cover-up by crafting a false report and planting a gun at the scene, but wasn’t involved in the actual shootings.

The sentencing marks the latest chapter in a long-running legal drama that has so far seen federal prosecutors secure convictions against 15 ex-officers for crimes committed shortly before and after the hurricane.

More court hearings loom:

  • Officer Ronald Mitchell awaits sentencing for perjury in connection to the slaying of Danny Brumfield Sr., who died in front of the city’s convention center after being shot by Mitchell.
  • Retired Sgt. Gerard Dugue, a detective charged with participating in the Danziger cover-up, is slated to be re-tried after Engelhardt declared a mistrial during his trial in January.
  • Lt. Travis McCabe, who was found guilty in 2010 of falsifying evidence connected to the murder of Henry Glover, successfully appealed his conviction and will stand trial for a second time.

ProPublica, with PBS “Frontline” and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has been covering alleged police misconduct in New Orleans since 2008, raising questions about the department’s use of force in nearly a dozen incidents that transpired in the aftermath of the hurricane.

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The Case Files

Case One

Religious Street

There is no police report describing what happened in this photo.

Case Two

Matt McDonald

Why didn’t police tell his family he was killed by an officer?

Case Three

Danny Brumfield

How does a man waving down a police car die from a shotgun blast to his back?

Case Four

Keenon McCann

The gun police said he had was never found.

Case Five

Henry Glover

His skull and ashes were found in the back of an incinerated Chevy.

Case Six

Danziger Bridge

Officers responding to an emergency call opened fire on civilians, injuring four and killing two.

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