2 Wrongful Deaths at the Hands of New Orleans Police: Katrina Aftermath Trial

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

The Katrina natural disaster is years past, but some trials concerning crimes from that time are just now surfacing. Yesterday during trial opening statements, one of the federal prosecutors said that New Orleans police officers “shot first and asked questions later” in  a Katrina aftermath case. The officers shot two people dead and left four others wounded — one of which was severely mentally challenged. The attorneys in defense of the police officers, however, said that their clients’ actions were justified because they were acting in self defense in order to protect their lives.

According to reports from the Associated Press, “Justice Department attorney Bobbi Bernstein said police plotted to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify reports to cover up ‘atrocities’ and tried to use Katrina’s chaotic conditions as an excuse for gaps in their investigation.” Bernstein added, “They lied because they knew they committed a crime. They lied because they knew police officers were not allowed to shoot first and ask questions later.”

The Associated Press also reports that “five other former officers already have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up to make the shootings appear justified. They are cooperating with the government and are expected to testify during the trial, which could last up to eight weeks.”

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.


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