I thought they were going to kill us,” said Susan Bartholomew, one of four victims who were serioulsy hurt on the Danziger Bridge days following Katrina. Bartholomew was the government’s first witness in the police shooting case.
Five officers stand trial for abusing the civil rights of a half dozen people who were trying to cross the bridge September 4 2005. Two people were killed. 17 year old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison were gunned down.
Bartholomew testified “they just kept shooting.” She, her, husband, and two childrend were attempting to cross the bridge searching for higher ground. Bartholomew was hit in the arm The arm had to be amputated.
Officers will testify they thought they were being fired on.
A call came over the dispatch, “two officers were down.” The defense said when officers arrived on the bridge they heard gunfire and they returned fire.
Defense Attorney Tim Meche told the jury in opening statements, “It doesn’t matter if there were guns on the bridge or not. “Meche added, “What matters if the officers had reason to believe there were guns.”
Bartholomew testified once the bullets stopped, a number of police officers were standing over them shouting get up and hold your hands up.
She said, “I could hold only one up. The other was shot off.”