My God! The fallout from the online postings in Jim Letten’s office doesn’t stop. What a horrible day yesterday was for all of New Orleans: a federal judge granted a new trial for the five former NOPD officers directly involved in the Danziger Bridge shooting and cover up. Two innocent New Orleanians were shot and killed for no apparent reason. Several others were shot and wounded.
Now the out-of-control cops are getting a retrial. Why? Because Jim Letten didn’t have control over his office when prosecutors Jan Mann and Sal Perricone posted comments online. Now, at least temporarily, justice is lost.
Black and white New Orleans was pleased with this verdict. Justice was served. Now this ugly chapter in our history gets re-opened. It’s bad enough for all of us, but can you imagine being a member of the Madison, Brissette, or Bartholomew familiy. These folks suffered tremendous loss and now have to relive it all over again.
Jim Letten, arguably, is the greatest crime fighter this city’s ever seen. Jan Mann and Sal Perricone’s legal expertise helped put dozens of white collar criminals behind bars. Now they’ll all be known as the group whose shenanigans lead to a new trial for a bunch of crazy cops who killed innocent people after Katrina.
The evidence against these cops hasn’t changed but the old U.S. Attorney’s Office postings on social media is opening the door for these criminals to get a second chance at freedom. Jim Letten once was a New Orleans hero. Now the final chapter of his otherwise sterling career will always be remembered for the Danziger retrial.
Let’s hope the feds appeal the ruling and avoid a retrial, but if a new trial does take place, hopefully the same verdict is reached the second time around. If not, the final chapter for Jim Letten’s public work will get even uglier.