A federal judge has sentenced five former NOPD officers to prison for their role in the Danzinger Bridge shooting and cover up.
Read the Department of Justice news release on the sentencings: Danziger Sentencings: DoJ news release [PDF]
Sgt. Robert Gisevius – 40 years in prison
Sgt. Kenneth Bowen – 40 years in prison
Officer Robert Faulcon – 65 years in prison
Officer Anthony Villavaso – 38 years in prison
Sgt. Arthur Kaufman – 6 years in prison
Federal prosecutors called it a somber day as they spoke with reporters outside the courthouse.
“Everyone will have their own thoughts about the sentences. Some may think they’re too high. Some may think they’re too low,” said Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez.
Family members of the victims agreed with the sentences. Lance Madison was on the Danziger Bridge that day and watched his brother, Ronald, get shot and killed.
“We loved each other. I really miss him. I’m just thankful we got some justice for him,” Madison said.
The shootings on the bridge happened in the chaotic days following Hurricane Katrina. But prosecutors were quick Wednesday afternoon to defend most NOPD officers who stayed after the storm.
“Regrettably, the acts of heroism of so many have been overshadowed by the misconduct of a few,” said Perez.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten responded to questions regarding now-retired prosecutor Sal Perricone who is accused of anonymously blogging about some of the fed’s investigations, and if the comments could give the former officers a foothold for appeals.
“Every charge we brougth, every sentence we sought, every conviction we obtained was done appropriately. It was done fairly,” Letten said.
The NOPD is currently investigating a pair of deadly shootings involving some of its officers. The FBI Special Agent In Charge for the New Orleans Area, David Welker, says his office is watching the process but not investigating.
“We are monitoring the investigations that are going on locally to ensure that they are being done correctly,” Welker said.