Tag: New Orleans

Justice Dept Issues Report on New Orleans Police Misconduct

The Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, has issued a report finding the New Orleans police department engaged in misconduct that violated the Constitution and federal laws.

Among the findings are that the police department has used excessive force, made unconstitutional stops and searches, and illegally profiled people based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. The investigation also found a number of practices that contributed to the illegal conduct, including failed systems for recruiting and promoting officers, poor training and lack of supervision, among others.

The report finds the misconduct is "serious, wide-ranging, systemic and deeply rooted in the culture of the department." [More...]

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New Orleans Officers Charged in Post-Katrina Deaths

The Obama Adminisration may be serious about ramping up the civil rights division.

Six New Orleans police officers have been charged in the post-Kaatrina deaths of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005.

The 27 count Indictment alleges some ugly facts. Five other former police officers have pleaded guilty and admitted that they participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice and cover up what happened that date.

The four officers charged with killing civilians face maximum penalties of life in prison or the death penalty. The officers face additional penalties for the remaining counts, which include charges related to a conspiracy to cover up what had happened on the bridge, and conspiracies to file charges against two of the victims, Lance Madison and Jose Holmes, on the basis of false evidence.

The other two face 70 and 120 years.

The New York Times reports eight other incidents of alleged police misconduct are still under investigation.

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Watching Obama in New Orleans

As of the weekend, I had no plans for watching the inauguration down here in New Orleans. I'm firmly in the camp of Andrew Bacevich who rightly believes that we cannot solve our problems by simply electing a new president.

But Monday night I had dinner with a friend who said that she was going to watch the swearing in ceremony from this incredible church in New Orleans' Holy Cross neighborhood.

It seemed like an opportunity too good--and too historic--to pass up. When I arrived at the Greater Little Zion Church yesterday morning, I was immediately glad that I'd made the trip: there was a big, multi-racial crowd and there was an almost electric feel in the air. [More...]

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A Murder in New Orleans

Over the weekend a much beloved bartender named Wendy Burns was murdered on a French Quarter street. Wendy was apparently shot to death during an armed robbery.

The murder occurred in the Lower Quarter, a mostly residential section of the French Quarter that has been beset by a staggering number of armed robberies in the past couple of years.

I just recently moved from the Lower Quarter after living there for about one year and a half. I moved in part because I was very weary of constantly feeling like a target, no matter the time of day. [More...]

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