Officer Who Initiated Danziger Call Testifies

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Jennifer Dupree

Jennifer Dupree

A New Orleans Police Officer, who some say is the reason five NOPD current and former officers are on trial in federal court for a deadly shooting, took the stand on Wednesday.

Jennifer Dupree testified before jurors in the Danziger Bridge police shooting trial in which officers are accused of violating the civil rights of people on the bridge and covering up their actions in the dark days following Hurricane Katrina. Two people were killed and four were injured.

Dupree is the officer who made the initial call from the Danziger signaling a “108” on her police radio. The signal means an officer’s life is in danger.

The defense contends that Dupree pre-signaled that 108 and said officers were down, leading four of the officers on trial to rush onto the Danziger Bridge with guns blazing.

But, Dupree testified that’s not what she said.

In court, she testified she remembered saying “officers in need of assistance,” not that their lives were in danger. Dupree also testified the people she identified as the shooters wore red and white T-shirts, and one carried a book bag.

Dupree, who was watching activity on the ground from the I-10 high-rise over the Industrial Canal, testified she said the shooters were not on the Danziger Bridge. She said they were beneath the high-rise firing up at her.

The jury saw a video tape of some of the events on the bridge that were captured by a NBC photographer. It showed three people walking westbound up the Danziger Bridge, one pushing a buggy. And, they all were wearing white shirts.

The government did not identify the people, but it is believed to be members of the Bartholomew family.

Susan Bartholomew testified Monday she was shot multiple times. Her right arm was amputated by a gunshot.

Later in the day, Jose Holmes took the witness stand. Holmes, who 14 in 2005, was shot in the arm and stomach on the bridge. He talked about the experience and said that he no longer plays basketball or the piano, two activities he loved as a young teen.