Journalism in the Public Interest

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ProPublica: Law and Disorder

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

Grand Jury Questions Top New Orleans Cop

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Then-New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass surveys the Ninth Ward, on Sept. 24, 2005, in New Orleans, after a storm surge from Hurricane Rita breached a patch in the levee of the Industrial Canal, reflooding the area. Compass acknowledged his appearance before a grand jury to the Times-Picayune on Friday but declined further comment.

Last month, ProPublica, The New Orleans Times-Picayune and PBS "Frontline" joined forces to examine a string of violent encounters between police and civilians that occurred in the days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Officers shot at least ten citizens, killing a minimum of four. Our series focused on several questionable shootings, and found the department initially made only cursory efforts to determine whether officers acted properly.

Now our partners at The Times-Picayune are reporting that New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley and former Superintendent Eddie Compass testified Friday before a federal grand jury. For more on what this means, check the story here.

While it's unclear what police officials discussed while in court -- grand jury proceedings are secret -- in recent months federal prosecutors have focused on two key cases involving the NOPD: the Danziger Bridge incident, during which police shot six people, and the death of Henry Glover, who apparently died while in police custody.

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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.

The Reporters

A.C. Thompson


Tom Jennings


Gordon Russell

City Editor
The Times-Picayune

Brendan McCarthy

The Times-Picayune

Laura Maggi

The Times-Picayune