“Danziger 7” indicted for murder, attempted murder

Tonight, residents of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, La., can rest a little easier, now that seven dangerous men indicted for murder and attempted murder are off the streets and in jail.

On September 4, 2005, just days after floodwaters drowned most of the city, Ronald Madison and his older brother Lance were crossing the Danziger Bridge, trying to get to a relative’s dental office, when a group of teenagers came up the bridge behind them and started shooting. The two brothers started running away, when a rental truck showed up, several unidentified men jumped out of it, and shot at them.

Ronald was killed, and Lance found himself on the ground with several guns in his face. The gunmen turned out to be police.

The official police report said that Ronald had reached into his waistband and turned around toward the police, as if he had a gun, and people would have believed this lie, since the coroner didn’t want to release the autopsy report. As it turns out, the reason was that the autopsy showed that police shot Ronald in the back. Five times.

Later the police would claim that they had guns but threw them away, but no guns were ever found.

That was enough for the district attorney to investigate, and last week, a grand jury indicted seven New Orleans police officers on charges of murder and attempted murder, charges the officers’ attorneys strongly deny.

“We cannot allow our police officers to shoot and kill our citizens without justification like rabid dogs,” District Attorney Eddie Jordan said. . . .

Police Superintendent Warren Riley called Jordan’s comments “highly unprofessional, highly prejudicial and highly undignified” and urged the community to withhold judgment until a jury decides their guilt or innocence.

“We want justice first and foremost,” Riley said, “but for the district attorney to try and prejudice the community against these officers before all the evidence is heard is really, I think, a sad day for the city.” — Associated Press

Two weeks ago, Kasimir Gaston, the only known eyewitness to the shooting, came forward and said that the two brothers were running away from the shooting when police officers lined up “like at a firing range” and shot him in the back.

Gaston was one of many flood refugees living on the second floor of the Friendly Inn, a low-income motel on the city’s east side. . . .

When asked if Madison had a gun, Gaston said, “I didn’t see any on him.”

CNN has visited the room where Gaston was staying. From that balcony, it is about 100 feet to where Madison was shot and killed. — CNN

The police even managed to put two bullets into Gaston’s truck.

The officers and the charges they face:

Sgt. Kenneth Bowen: one count of first-degree murder of Brissette and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew, Jose Holmes Jr., Lance Madison and Ronald Madison.

Sgt. Robert Gisevius: one count of first-degree murder of Brissette and two counts of attempted first-degree murder of the Madisons.

Officer Anthony Villavaso: one count of first-degree murder of Brissette and four counts of attempted first-degree murder of the Bartholomews and Holmes.

Officer Robert Faulcon: two counts of first-degree murder of Brissette and Ronald Madison and attempted first-degree murder of the Bartholomews and Holmes.

Officer Robert Barrios: four counts of attempted first-degree murder of the Bartholomews and Holmes.

Officer Michael Hunter: two counts of attempted first-degree murder of the Madisons.

Officer Ignatius Hills: one count of attempted second-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew IV. — CNN

The officers turned themselves in today, and a crowd of supporters — supporters of crazed, cold-blooded killers — turned out to support them and wish them well.

One protester shouted “Police killings must stop” and “Racism must go” as the men arrived, but the protester was shouted down by the crowd yelling: “Heroes, Heroes.”

Uniformed police officers from nearby districts joined other supporters embracing the seven policemen and shaking their hands. The Fraternal Order of Police had encouraged rank-and-file officers to gather outside the jail to show their support. One sign in the crowd read, “Support the Danziger 7.” Another read: “Thanks for protecting our city.”

“These men stayed here to protect our city and protect us and this is the thanks that is given to them,” said Ryan Maher, 34, of New Orleans, who described himself as a civilian with friends in the police department.

“It’s a serious injustice,” said Sgt. Henry Kuhn of the Harahan Police Department, one of several uniformed officers from the New Orleans suburbs who joined the crowd. — Associated Press

Protecting the city does not mean shooting innocent people in the back as they try to get away from criminals with guns shooting at other people, covering up the autopsy report which showed that you killed somebody in cold blood, and saying God knows what to the only eyewitness to keep him quiet for over a year.

If that’s your idea of protecting the city, you probably belong in jail, too.

One thought on ““Danziger 7” indicted for murder, attempted murder

  • January 15, 2007 at 7:09 am

    I would like to say that after reading the debate over this issue as posted here, that there are valid points from both sides, both in support of these officers as well as against. I can also say that I have personal experience from all sides of the fence on the same sort of issues, I am a serious minded Christian male, a Citizen with great respect and admiration for the Constitution of this country, an honorably discharged ex-Air Force enlistee of fourteen years service, and I have served as a deputy sheriff and county jailer in my home town. With my experience in these areas I have seen both good and bad, and I would like to believe that I have always tried to serve on the side of good. I have always tried to perform all of my sworn duties with the utmost regard for the rights and wellbeing of others and the Constitution of this country and my respective state. But I have always felt and performed my duties with the mindset that an unlawful order, no matter who gives it, is an order to be disregarded, regardless of the repercussions.

    It is because of my experience in these parts of my life that I have become a Constitutional activist and work diligently to protect the rights of myself and the people from both police and governmental encroachment upon our rights (especially upon our rights to keep and bear arms) and to prosecute government infractions against the Citizens of this country and in resistance to police and governmental encroachment that are in the process of violating those rights. I even support the use of appropriate and necessary force against these agencies when they are in the performance of constitutionally or statutorily unlawful acts.

    The courts have ruled over and over that the police are not required to protect you, but the police seem to deem themselves as having an almost unlimited power in many areas of our country to violate you or your property

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