The Danziger Bridge Trial is over. Five current or former NOPD officers were found guilty of violating the civil rights of everyday New Orleans citizens. Two of the victims were killed, four others were seriously injured, and another arrested after watching police kill his younger brother.
The five cops who came forward, Michael Lohman, Jeffrey Lehrmann, Michael Hunter, Robert Barrios, and Ignacious Hill, deserve a little credit. They cooperated with the Feds and were key witnesses against their fellow officers. But they also all deserve the jail time they are getting.
Remember, all of these cops were part of the initial coverup. They should have come forward with the truth from the beginning. They were part of this terrible crime. As for the five cops on the Danziger Bridge that Saturday after Katrina, their fate is now sealed.
Robert Faulcon, Anthony Villavaso, Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, and Arthur Kaufman will all be going to jail for a long time. Decades at the least for some while others will never see the light of day again, literally dying in jail. And they deserve it.
Civil rights violations anywhere are unexceptable much less in a major American city. And when the cops are the ones doing the violating, swift justice must be served.
U.S Attorney Jim Letton said it best about the police who acted wrongly on the bridge. They abused the power that they were sworn to use to protect and defend us. They killed two citizens. One mentally impaired and another just 17 years old. Ronald Madison and James Brissette deserved a lot better treatment from our police than they received.
The Danziger trial is over. And as James Brissette’s mom said late last week from the federal court house steps, with U.S Attorney Jim Letton at her side, “Justice has been served.”