See: Hurricane "New Orleans Police Department!"
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“Cops have already killed 550 people in 2015,” prompting the response, "If they're black, it doesn't count."
-- December 2015 texts discovered on the phones of Santa Clara Sheriff Deputies.
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Posted: April 21, 2016 12:01 AM EDT ~ Updated: April 22, 2016 01:36 AM PDT
Officer Willie Gant faces 25 years to life on each of two counts of sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13 in trial set for June 7, 2016.
New Orleans, LA -- Willie Gant, 59, is a 28-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department. In July of 2014 he arrested on accusations that he groped a pre-teen relative on two separate occasions when she visited his St. Claude-area home. Gant is charged with two counts of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13. Gant has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Gant has sat quietly through his scheduled court appearances. He has been awaiting trial for nearly two years. On Thursday his trial date was set for June 7, 2016. Gant faces a sentence of 25 years to life on each count, ... if convicted.
Gant has remained free on a $20,000 bond. Gant was initially placed on emergency suspension without pay. However, he has been allowed to return to work with the NOPD while awaiting trial. Gant remains on the force and is assigned to the NOPD's 8th District. The 8th District polices the French Quarter. Gant has declined comment on the case.
A 12-year-old girl told investigators she had been sexually assaulted twice by NOPD officer Willie A. Gant at his home. The case against the officer could hinge on the credibility of his accuser. She was 12 years old when she reported she had been molested. The victim is now 14. Orleans Parish prosecutor Bonycle Thornton asked that the girl be allowed to testify via closed-circuit television. The victim's testimony would occur outside of Gant's presence.
Gant and his defense attorney Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman to order any testimony from the girl to be provided live in the courtroom. Gant's attorney argued earlier this month that such an accommodation would deprive Gant of his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser. Thornton countered that the arrangement is necessary to prevent the girl from becoming intimidated or distraught by seeing Gant staring back from the defense table.
Two court-certified mental health experts who evaluated the girl agreed with Thornton at an April 7 hearing on the matter. "We recommended to the court to allow her [closed-circuit testimony] because having her face and look at the defendant has the potential of re-traumatizing her." Forensic Psychologist Dr. Rafael Salcedo interviewed the girl with colleague Dr. Richard Richoux. Dr. Richoux is a forensic psychiatrist. Dr. Salcedo testified that, "Having to face the defendant in open court would have a negative impact on the level of emotional distress she would experience." Salcedo said he and Richoux found the girl to be exhibiting symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome. He said her emotional state has been affected by the fact that Gant has remained free on a $20,000 bond.
Dr. Salcedo further testified that Gant's being allowed to return to work with the NOPD while awaiting trial, has exacerbated the condition. He continued: "She expressed anxiety, concern, apprehension and almost a sense of injustice that the person she believes molested her was not incarcerated and was out on bond. She is concerned that he is a New Orleans police officer and, in that instance, held some degree of power over her. She doesn't want anything to do with him. He was someone she portrayed as having betrayed her."
Salcedo described Gant's accuser as introverted. He said she is shy and mostly reluctant to discuss the incidents in their interview. The doctor said this makes her testimony in open court a tenuous prospect. The doctor testified: "She didn't want to talk in any detail about what happened. She was close to shutting down, and I didn't push it." Gant's attorney asked: "So you don't know if someone asking a further question would make her shut down? You made the decision not to persist?" The doctored responded: "It was causing her distress to the point I did not want to inflict additional pain on her. I think it would be psychologically devastating to her to testify in court, staring into the face of the man she says sexually molested her."
Gant's arrest record shows that the girl described two incidents of the police officer touching her inappropriately. Each incident occurred while she was in his house visiting his daughters. She said they happened about three weeks apart in July 2014. The report was investigated by detectives from NOPD's sex crimes unit and Public Integrity Bureau.
Detective Sgt. Lawrence Jones swore out an affidavit for an arrest warrant affidavit. In the affidavit he attested that the girl said that on the initial visit in the first week of July, Gant groped her with his hands under her clothes. On a second visit July 26, she told police, she was sleeping on an air mattress when she was awakened around 5 a.m. to find Gant touching her below the waist underneath her clothing. The warrant said she told police that other children also were visiting with Gant. She told police that she had "urged the children not to leave her alone in an effort to prevent further abuse from Gant."
Gant was arrested and temporarily suspended from duty in 2009 in connection with a lawsuit seeking to collect unpaid child support. He also was investigated by the PIB in 2008 after a complaint that he punched a French Quarter tour guide during a traffic dispute on Dauphine Street.
Posted: October 31, 2011
"May The Force be
New Orleans Police Department is a scandal-riddled department that has come under intense national scrutiny. In total, nearly 50 sworn officers in New Orleans have been booted from the force in the past 18 months or have resigned or retired while under investigation or awaiting punishment. NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas, took office in May 2010. At present a federal consent decree is looming. On average, every 10 days so far this year, an NOPD officer or higher-ranking cop either is fired or leaves the force while under investigation for officer misconduct. A minimum of 28 officers have either left the NOPD in the past two years following an arrest, or remain on suspended status. NOPD officer misconduct has ranged from officers involved in the Danziger Bridge shootings to a mother-son cop tandem who allegedly beat down a club bouncer in May while off duty.
Henry Hollins (pictured left) was sentenced in March to 45 years in prison for attempted aggravated rape and kidnapping of a woman he picked up in 2009.
Officer Rydell Diggs, though a judge found him not guilty, was accused of beating a man and lifting cash from his wallet during a 2007 traffic stop in the Carrollton neighborhood.
Officer David Ogozalek lost his job in a plea deal for spitting on a fellow officer while being arrested for drunken driving. A few months earlier, he was cleared in a wrongful-death civil lawsuit filed by the family of a man who died as Ogozalek and two other cops tried to restrain him.
Officer Carey Dykes, a 13-year veteran, took a woman to a motel for sex while on the clock.
Officer Patrick O'Hern was accused of firing his weapon into his personal vehicle, disobeying orders and drinking on duty.
Capt. Gwen Norwood downgraded reports of sexual assaults, then came under investigation for payroll fraud related to detail work at the University of New Orleans.
Officer Justin Ferris broke NOPD chase rules, resulting in a fatality, then allegedly lied about it.
The list does not include 21 recruits who were dismissed last year, in part under budget pressure but largely because they didn't cut the academic mustard, according to Serpas. One of them, Stephen Ducksworth, resigned June 30, 2010, after he was arrested in a domestic violence incident; he allegedly fired a gun illegally; damaged property; and tried to harm his girlfriend at his home in eastern New Orleans.
NOPD Deputy Chief Arlinda Westbrook describes the process as "complete purging," which has followed investigations into actions taken by officers while on duty. "There are so many cases. It doesn't feel like it's slowing down," said Westbrook. The standard for dismissal is far lower than for a criminal prosecution, Westbrook said. "If it's legal," she said, "we're doing it."
Still, some officers who were involved in notorious cases that have cast the department under a dark cloud, including the Danziger Bridge shootings and the fatal beating of Raymond Robair, remain on the active police roster, including five officers who now sit in jail. The civil service appeal process can run years, and the jury is still out for all but one of the officers who have filed appeals following their dismissals. The Civil Service Commission recently upheld the firing of Jason Lewis, who pleaded guilty last year to a count of animal cruelty after his K-9 cop, Primo, died from heat stroke when Lewis left him unattended in a hot police vehicle.
So far, the department has meted out 170 disciplinary actions against cops this year, including 118 suspensions. That, too, is up from last year. The numbers do not include resignations or retirements while under investigation. In a handful of cases, officers have inked their resignations as part of plea deals for lesser sentences or dropped charges. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has defended the moves against sharp criticism, saying that it was more important to ensure that a bad officer left the force, as opposed to risking a misdemeanor conviction or acquittal that could mean a legal fight. Felony convictions mean automatic firing.
March 17, 2011
The Justice Department has found evidence that New Orleans police officers have often used deadly force without justification, have a pattern of making unconstitutional arrests and have engaged in racial profiling. The scathing report released Thursday says the department has long failed to adequately protect New Orleans residents. It cites numerous reasons for the failures, including inadequate supervision and ineffective methods of taking and investigating complaints.
"Our investigation has shown that the problems and challenges confronting the NOPD are serious, wide ranging, systemic and deeply routed in the culture of the department," announce Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez. "Our findings revealed a pattern of practice of unconstitutional conduct or violations of federal law in several areas.... including the use of excessive force, unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests and racial profiling and ethnic profiling."
The report was the result of a request made by Mayor Mitch Landrieu shortly after he took office in May 2010. Landrieu has said he would welcome a federal consent decree ordering changes once the Justice Department completed its review.
The department had been plagued by scandal for decades, including shootings of unarmed people in the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Click here to read the report from the Justice Department...
New Orleans Burning! The Henry Glover Case
Trial: Day 4!
Trial: Day 4!
November 20, 2010
The accused are among 20 New Orleans police officers charged in recent months over killings, assaults and the fabrication of evidence during Katrina. They are being prosecuted by the federal government under civil rights legislation after local authorities proved unable or unwilling to act.
September 30, 2010 (Two men cover their faces as they walk past the body of Danny Brumfield Sr. in the street outside the Convention Center on Sept. 3, 2005. Police said Brumfield was shot after attacking an officer with a pair of scissors. Police records in the killing have been subpoenaed.) Two New Orleans police officers lied under oath about the fatal shooting of a man outside the convention center after Hurricane Katrina, according to a federal indictment filed Thursday. The six-count indictment charges the officers, Ronald Mitchell and Ray Jones, with obstruction of justice and perjury. The officers are accused of providing false testimony during depositions for a civil lawsuit filed by the wife of the man who was killed, Danny Brumfield Sr. The officers were not charged with the shooting itself, which occurred when the officers were driving by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Sept. 3, 2005. Brumfield had tried to stop the officers' patrol car, according to family members, anxious to get help for the people stranded at the convention center. According to the indictment, he either jumped on the hood of the car or was struck by the car. It was at that point that Mitchell fired a shotgun at the New Orleans man, hitting him in "his left rear shoulder," the indictment stated. The indictment says Mitchell lied when he claimed he fired at Brumfield only after the man lunged at him with a shiny object in his hand. Prosecutors say Mitchell knew Brumfield didn't have a shiny object. Jones, who drove the car, also is accused of giving a false account of what happened after the shooting. The indictment states that Jones lied when he said that he stopped the car after Brumfield was shot, allowing Mitchell to check the man's pulse. That didn't happen, the indictment contends. The 45-year-old man's family filed a lawsuit against the officers and New Orleans Police Department, which was settled in 2008 for $400,000. The indictment accuses the officers of lying in their deposition testimony with civil attorneys, saying they did this to "corruptly obstruct, impede, and influence an official proceeding."
June 22, 2010
N.O.P.D. Strikes Again!
"I don't know what happened. All I know is that all 12 wounds came in from the back part of his body." -- Dr. Frank Minyard, Coroner, New Orleans ParishThree New Orleans police officers shot and killed a 17-year-old youth Sunday night in the St. Roch neighborhood after he allegedly pointed and leveled an assault rifle at the officers. The coroner's office determined that Jamyrin Points was shot 12 times, all in the back of his body. "He had wounds in the back parts of his leg, in the upper area of his back, and one in the back of the head," said Dr. Frank Minyard, the Orleans Parish coroner, Monday. "I don't know what happened. All I know is that all 12 wounds came in from the back part of his body." Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department's assistant superintendent, said Monday that private surveillance footage from the scene shows the man raising the rifle at officers, Defillo said. The department did not release the tape Monday but will turn it over to the district attorney, he said. The shooting took place about 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the 2500 block of Franklin Avenue, near McCue Park. Police said a report of gunfire at the park -- at the base of the Franklin Avenue overpass at Florida Avenue -- prompted officers to investigate. The gunfire had scattered dozens of people who had gathered for a social event at the park, according to police. Within minutes of the initial report, officers encountered a teen running from the area with an assault rifle in his hands, Defillo said. Three officers, all members of the NOPD's 5th District task force, confronted Points steps from the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Points, who turned 17 last month, "raised the weapon and leveled it at the officers," Defillo said. Officer Nicholas Williams, officer Lawrence Jones and officer Cleveland Johnson fired their weapons. Points was pronounced dead at the scene.
C.J. Note: If this version is true, how did each and every shot enter Mr. Points' back? At least one (or more) shot should have entered the frontal region of his body. Remember, N.O.P.D. lied about the Danzinger Bridge shooting and killing of unarmed Black people.See: N.O.P.D.: The Saga Continues!
Officers retrieved the assault rifle, with a fully loaded magazine and a bullet in the chamber, at the scene, Defillo said. Police said officers also recovered a pistol about 15 feet from where Points fell. "We believe someone else had a pistol and dropped it," Defillo said. A second teenager was apparently wounded in the incident. Shortly after police shot Points, officers found a 16-year-old boy several blocks away with an apparent gunshot wound to his ankle. The teen, found in the 2100 block of Music Street, told officers he heard gunfire near the park and fled with several other people, according to Defillo. The teen was released from the hospital early Monday. It is unclear whether his wound came from the earlier shooting at the playground, from an officer's weapon or from some type of ricochet, Defillo said. Numerous officers, as well as detectives, canvassed the shooting scene Sunday night. Eventually, police recovered a vehicle that had several fresh assault rifle rounds lodged in it. Crime lab technicians began processing that vehicle on Monday, searching for clues, according to police. Defillo said detectives did not know what prompted the initial gunfire near the playground. Defillo said detectives, while searching the area on Monday, found a second pistol near the scene. Police plucked the gun from the ground near the corner of Law Street and Franklin Avenue. That gun had been reported stolen in an auto burglary on June 10, Defillo said. Per NOPD policy, the three officers who discharged their weapons were placed on administrative desk duty while an internal investigation is conducted. A sergeant from the homicide division is investigating the incident. His case will be turned over to the district attorney's office. The NOPD's public integrity bureau, which investigates complaints against officers, is also reviewing the matter. The city's new independent police monitor's office, who began two weeks ago, was not at the scene. The monitor, Susan Hutson, was in Washington on a business trip but was notified immediately of the shooting, said deputy monitor Holly Wiseman. The monitor's office, meanwhile, is establishing protocols for visiting police shooting scenes and reviewing such cases. The shooting comes amid heavy scrutiny of the police force and its use of deadly force. The FBI has at least eight criminal investigations into alleged NOPD misconduct, most of which center on police shootings in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice's special litigation section is conducting a wide-scale assessment of the police force and its practices and policies.