Police Abuse

New Orleans Cops Plead Guilty, Get Reduced Sentences for Fatal Post-Katrina Shootings

Five officers involved in the 2005 Danziger Bridge shooting and cover-up were previously found guilty, but the verdict was overturned.

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via NOLA.com

Five former New Orleans police officers pled guilty yesterday to a series of federal charges related to the police shooting of several unarmed residents on the Danziger Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Times-Picayune reports.

Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman had been previously convicted on 56 federal counts, ranging from falsifying official records to deprivation of rights under color of law, which carries the death penalty. Kaufman, involved in the cover-up of the 2005 shooting, received a 6 year sentence in 2012, while the other four received sentences of 38, 40, and 65 (for Faulcon) years in prison.

This week's guilty plea reduces those sentences—to 7, 10, and 12 (for Faulcon) years, and 3 years for Kaufman. The first four offers have been in jail since 2010, and will be credited for time served.

The 2012 convictions were overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct involving prosecutors posting anonymous online comments about the New Orleans Police Department and the Danziger bridge case.

via NOLA.com

In September 2005, seven police officers, including Bowen, Faulcon, Gisevius, and Villavaso, arrived at the Danziger Bridge in a Budget rental truck, wearing plainclothes, and armed with assault rifles. They shot at multiple unarmed civilians, with one witness describing the officers as lining up as if in a "firing squad." Faulcon was also accused of chasing down a mentally disabled man, Ronald Madison, and shooting him at least five times in the back.

Police claimed they were responding to a call of shots fired at cops, but no weapons were found at the scene, and later engaged in a cover-up. Kaufman was the lead homicide investigator on the Danziger Bridge case.

A Washington Post investigation last year found only 54 police officers charged since 2015 in relation to fatal police shootings, with very few convictions, and sentences averaging just four years.

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  1. I don’t know that I like how quickly they moved on this case. Let’s slow down a little and make sure justice is done.

    1. What are you talking about? Their sentences were reduced, so justice was done.

      1. But were they reduced enough? I think they need to spend another 10 years mulling it over before they actually put these heroes away.

  2. Prince died I hear.

    1. Lou Reed still alive.

      1. Now When Doves Cry is playing, so not coincidental.

        1. Little Red Corvette now. It’s all Prince, all the time.

    2. Yeah, Prince is dead.

      He was substantially more talented than Michael Jackson.

      And “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince vs. the Prince Formerly Known as Charles” was probably the best episode of Celebrity Deathmatch ever.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvJu94afDd0

        1. Raspberry Beret greaterthansign anything in Jackson’s oeuvre.

      1. Thanks. I’d forgotten about that one.

  3. Faulcon was also accused of chasing down a mentally disabled man, Ronald Madison, and shooting him at least five times in the back.

    So someone got the death penalty, just not the criminals involved. Shame.

    1. How that doesn’t catch a death penalty is beyond me.

      Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

  4. OT:

    Fox’s John Stossel: ‘I write this from the hospital. Seems I have lung cancer ? Customer service stinks’

    John Stossel had a fifth of his lung removed, he complained about customer service. The article isn’t terribly terrible by WaPo standards, but the author seems to believe that Chicago school economics and Austrian school economics are the same thing. As can be expected from a WaPo writer that’s so smugly sure his opponents are wrong. Also as can be expected of course, the comments are a total shitshow of stupidity on display.

    1. Customer service in health care is atrocious.

      The main reason being that health care isn’t operated for the benefit and convenience of patients. Its operated for the benefit and convenience of physicians.

      1. And technicians, and bureaucrats and insurance industry cronies et al. I once asked a desk nurse, a.k.a. bureaucrat in scrubs, for a price on some blood test my doctor wanted me to have done. The woman was immediately pissed off and told me she didn’t know. I told her that I needed to know and insisted that she simply tell me how much of my money they want in exchange for the service.

        She had me wait 45 minutes so she could scrabble some inaccurate figures onto a crumpled up post-it-note that she literally threw at me out of her little service window and then closed the sliding door before I could ask her what the hell it was that she just gave me.

        I remember thinking that was fairly good customer service by hospital standards. She gave me a price, albeit a wholly illegible, useless and presumably inaccurate one, but I got a price, I think.

        1. Why would you expect her to know? The cost could be vary by an order of magnitude depending on a bunch of different variables. The price is deliberately hidden until 1-3 months after services are rendered.

          1. Why would you expect her to know? The cost could be vary by an order of magnitude depending on a bunch of different variables.

            Because a blood test that looks for the presence of one particular genetic disease is extremely straight forward and there are no variables to speak of, much less ones that they were unaware of.

            Market based businesses provide quotes in the face of variables all the time. Variability is no excuse generally, and it’s certainly not here specifically.

            1. Sorry, I meant that to be a jab at the system, not you. I wasn’t clear. I was referring to variables like what insurance you have? If Medicare do you have supplemental? Have you hit your deductible? Is this in network? Who are your doctors? Are you just paying out of pocket? If so, do you want to apply for financial assistance? Etc. All the variables that have nothing to do with actual healthcare and everything to do with the government induced bureaucracy.

              1. Sorry, I meant that to be a jab at the system, not you. I wasn’t clear. I was referring to variables like what insurance you have? If Medicare do you have supplemental? Have you hit your deductible? Is this in network? Who are your doctors? Are you just paying out of pocket? If so, do you want to apply for financial assistance? Etc. All the variables that have nothing to do with actual healthcare and everything to do with the government induced bureaucracy.

                Oh I get ya. Yeah basically, in my case, I had cash in my wallet and I was ready to pay for services with that.

                I think it all came down to the fact that she didn’t know how to calculate a price without inputting a whole shit ton of variables that are entirely separate from what it actually costs to run the tests plus the desired profit minus what consumers are willing to pay.

    2. Bud0
      1:56 PM EST
      Utter garbage about US hospitals. There’s nothing socialist about them, though many are de facto capitalist monopolies. And he blames government for the fact that all costs and prices are hidden? Fool.

      It’s the capitalist monopolies, I tell’s ya!

      1. “And he blames government for the fact that all costs and prices are hidden? Fool.”

        LOL yeah, free markets are notorious for having prices no one can see beforehand. This is in stark contrast to government provided services which are always upfront and transparent about their costs.

        Like this federal park ranger we’re paying $95,000 a year despite the fact that she doesn’t know anything about the subject we’re paying her to talk about.

        See? Totally reasonable compensation package that keeps costs low on behalf of the tax payer.

      2. dougdingle
        1:50 PM EST
        “”Customer service is sclerotic because hospitals are largely socialist bureaucracies,” Stossel added. “Instead of answering to consumers, which forces businesses to be nimble, hospitals report to government, lawyers and insurance companies.””

        Even with cancer, a complete true to his character right wing whining idiot who believes the solution to everything is to run things like a for-profit business.

        You know, like in Flint, Michigan where poisoning children of the poor is collateral damage when reining in the budget.

        So Flint’s water was supplied by a for-profit business! It all makes sense now!

        1. whitfield
          1:30 PM EST
          Simple solution, Mr. Stossel: Pay for your healthcare yourself. Mouthing off about insurance (and calling it “socialist”) while accepting its benefits is about as hypocritical as you can get.

          Whoooosh….

          1. bruce19
            1:16 PM EST
            Stossel is too arrogant and ossified to comprehend that the medical issues should not be part of the “free market” like dish soap and oil futures. Tell me the last time someone unconscious and in full cardiac arrest could negotiate on price of the ER or which hospital had the best deal in town. That is why medical care, health care is a universal right in most countries around the world. Only the USA has this bizarre and 19th Century system of payment where doctors and hospitals dictate payments and costs with the ability to bankrupt a family at will.

            Yes, because the vast majority of “healthcare” is conducted in an emergency situation where the patient is unconscious and has no prior relationship with the provider/insurance.

            1. All healthcare takes place in the emergency room and is exclusively a service rendered to incapacitated individuals clinging to a thread of life.

            2. FactsRgood
              12:04 PM EST
              He has PRIVATE insurance. He can take his business to any number of NY hospitals. Thank God for Unions, right?

              Facts are indeed good, but only if you know what to make of them.

              1. Private insurance, the existence of more than one hospital in the universe and unions. Sage use of the non-sequitur argument. I tell you it’s amazing how much stupidity can be fit into a few words. It would take another full paragraph to fully refute those few words.

            3. That moron doesn’t have a clue as to how hospital pricing works.

              The hospitals contend the pricing disparity is the result of Medicare regulations requiring hospitals to maintain a uniform list of charges for every treatment and service they administer — even for patients who aren’t covered by the program. The hospitals claim they can’t offer unilateral reductions in these charges to categories of people, such as uninsured patients, without fearing they may be violating Medicare rules.

              1. Medicare regulated pricing, not set by the market, but a board of technocrats of in the American Medical Association. No moral hazards there.

              2. There are, in fact, Medicare rules prohibiting giving discounts or waiving charges, to prevent “inducing” patients to use that hospital, without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

                IOW, price competition at the individual level is very difficult for any Medicare provider to engage in.

                1. Not only that, but for practical and liability reasons, health insurers look to Medicare compensation to formulate their own compensation rates.

  5. In other news, Portugal has decided a CIA agent can have her ass shipped to Italy for judicial proceedings. She apparently is disappointed to find the FYTW law the US government invokes on her behalf can also be invoked against her. Who knew crooked swords cut both ways?

    “Those of us who were convicted were accredited diplomats and declared to the Italian government,” De Sousa said. “We instead find ourselves treated like NOCs with our U.S. government affiliation disavowed. I would have never joined the CIA if I was told there was a remote possibility that I would never see my mother in Goa again and not travel abroad. This has set a terrible precedent. This rendition was funded by Congress with approval of senior government officials in the U.S., Italy and Egypt.”

    …..

    Though she lost her lawsuit against the government for failing to grant her immunity, she sued the CIA, Defense and State Departments in November 2014. In the suit, she argues that the agencies violated the Freedom of Information Act after they refused to confirm or deny the existence of documents she had requested showing that the rendition was approved by the CIA and senior government officials.

    1. “Those of us who were convicted were accredited diplomats and declared to the Italian government,” De Sousa said. “We instead find ourselves treated like NOCs with our U.S. government affiliation disavowed. I would have never joined the CIA if I was told there was a remote possibility that I would never see my mother in Goa again and not travel abroad. This has set a terrible precedent. This rendition was funded by Congress with approval of senior government officials in the U.S., Italy and Egypt.”

      So which is it?

  6. So much punching of the nuts in this article.

  7. You know who else shot people for a Danziger Bridge?

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