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"The only good nigger is a dead nigger and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other nigger from coming in the area."
-- July 2011 Statement by Oakland Public Schools Police Chief Pete Sarna, referring to an African-American police officer.
Top News Stories!
Posted: Wed., August 26, 2015, 9:46 AM ET ~ Updated: Thurs., August 27, 2015, 2:29 AM PT
Sunset, Louisiana (WCJB) -- A Louisiana police officer responding to a call of a man stabbing women was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. DiCapo identified the officer as Henry Nelson, 52. The suspect was identified as 35-year-old Harrison Lee Riley.
One of the women who was stabbed also died, Deputy Sheriff Paul DiCapo of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office said. Shameka Johnson, 41, died of her stab wounds. Two other women were hospitalized. Her sister Surlay Johnson, 34, is in serious condition. They are sisters of the mayor of nearby Grand Coteau, Shaterral Johnson. The third woman is Courtney Jolivette Riley. She is the suspect's wife. She was listed in stable condition.
Riley was hospitalized after fleeing in his car from the house in Sunset, Louisiana. The incident occurred at the hme. He crashed into a convenience store several blocks away, police said. Riley barricaded himself behind an office door but gave up after police used tear gas and broke into the room. The suspect had some irritation to his eyes from tear gas. He was unhurt otherwise.
Sunset is a town of about 3,000 people located some 15 miles north of Lafayette, Louisiana.
Nov. 16, 2014
New Orleans, La. -- Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said Thursday that he has reassigned to desk duty five detectives who were the subject this week of a scathing Inspector General’s Office report that said they largely ignored hundreds of sex crime allegations over the past three years. The move came a day after the new chief was confronted with the latest blow to the NOPD’s reputation, along with questions about why the five detectives accused in the report had been reassigned to street work in three police districts rather than put on the shelf pending further investigation.
When the IG’s report was released Wednesday, Harrison said the officers singled out in the report had been removed from special sex crimes and child abuse units and placed on patrol duty — some of them months ago as the IG’s Office bored into their records.
On Thursday, he said they had been placed on “administrative reassignment,” taking them off the streets.
Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux has periodically criticized the Police Department over the way it tracks crime statistics and manages its personnel. But Wednesday’s revelations hit harder, raising fresh questions about how far some of the department’s reform efforts progressed under former Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who abruptly retired in August.
Quatrevaux said the officers in question simply labeled hundreds of the sex crime cases assigned to them as “miscellaneous” and followed up on only a fraction of the cases they did classify as crimes with anything more than cursory initial reports. One officer allegedly told colleagues she did not think simple rape should be classified as a crime.
Harrison suggested that all of the officers may face criminal charges, and two are accused of backdating six reports on the same day in 2013, after Quatrevaux’s office asked the department to produce them.
While the department has pushed back against Quatrevaux’s conclusions in the past, that has not been the case this time, at least not yet. Quatrevaux and Harrison announced the findings at a joint news conference, and Harrison said the department’s Public Integrity Bureau this week launched its own full-scale investigation of the five detectives.
“Our Public Integrity Bureau is working around the clock to investigate each allegation outlined in the OIG report,” Harrison said in a statement Thursday. “Based on our initial review of the findings, we believe there is enough evidence to suggest that these five officers weren’t doing the job they were charged to do. We will continue to investigate each case and will take additional disciplinary action if and when we discover violations.”
The detectives under investigation are Akron Davis, Merrill Merricks, Derrick Williams, Damita Williams and
Vernon Haynes. All of them have spent more than 15 years on the force. All but Davis worked in the sex crimes unit.
Donovan Livaccari, an attorney with the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, called the decision to put the officers on desk duty “a little bit of an overreaction” and cautioned against convicting them prematurely. “I hope this is not an indication that the investigation that follows will be unduly influenced by published reports,” he said.
July 14, 2011
"'He (Ring) was extremely violent towards all the deputies trying to restrain him[.] 'He was continuously kicking and spitting on the deputies.'"
-- Deputy James McCord wrote in his incident report regrading the arrest of Darren T. Ring.
A Tennessee man, Darren T. Ring, 34, of New Johnsonville, sustained a punctured lung and cracked ribs following a brutal beating from a team of police deputies - while he was already in handcuffs. After being stripped naked, the man was kicked and shocked repeatedly with a Taser gun. The January 23 incident was caught on tape by video equipment fixed to the vehicle of a Humphreys county sheriff deputy.
Humpreys County deputies descended on Ring after responding to a report of gunshots in Waverly. Ring was not arrested for firing the shots but was drunk when the deputies arrived, reports show.
In a grand jury indictment, Ring was charged with three counts of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and a parole violation. However, the video footage shows deputies repeatedly telling Ring to stop resisting arrest while he is incapacitated laying facedown in the snow with at least two deputies on top of him.
Contradictory to events that were caught on the hidden camera, Deputy James McCord wrote in his incident report that Ring kicked him in the testicles, poked him in the eye and tried to grab a fellow deputy’s firearm.
'He (Ring) was extremely violent towards all the deputies trying to restrain him,' the incident report states. 'He was continuously kicking and spitting on the deputies.'
However, the video shows a half-naked Ring being held down and intermittently kicked and struck with a baton for approximately 10 minutes. To add insult to injury, later in the video a Waverly police department officer arrives on the scene and proceeds to repeatedly taser an immobilized Ring, while the deputies tell him to roll over onto his stomach.
In the video Ring says he can’t roll over. His attorney a Public Defender, said his client was unable to move because of repeated Taser shots. Ring is requesting to be released from jail where he has been held in lieu of bond for more than five months. 'The defendant had committed no crime,' the motion states, 'was not advised that he was being arrested for any crime, and was not charged with any crime until after the officers had beaten him and had to charge the defendant in an attempt to justify or cover up their own criminal conduct of aggravated assault on the defendant.' Ring has also hired a prominent Nashville attorney for a possible civil suit. The attorney said his client may pursue civil action once the criminal charges against Ring are resolved.
'I'm not going to speculate why the deputies acted this way,' said the attorney. 'Never in my 35 years have I seen anything like it, especially when you consider how long Mr. Ring was kicked, beaten with a baton and tasered.'
In his motion, the Public Defender asked that Ring be released from Humphreys County jail and requested “that all charges should be dropped because the defendant committed no crime and, even if he had committed some crime, he was punished so severely that jeopardy should attach and bar further prosecution.”
Ring has had previous arrests including a recent driving under influence charge. A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said the officers in question have not been suspended, but further details could not be released because of the investigation.
'Can't We All
July 13, 2011
Los Angeles, CA (WCJB) -- Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police ultimately led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Tuesday, police said. King's 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers after a traffic stop left him with skull fractures and brain and kidney damage. It was captured on video by a nearby resident. King was on parole for robbery at the time of the beating. Four officers were indicted as a result of the videotape.
But their trial the following year led to three acquittals and a mistrial in the predominantly white suburb of Simi Valley, verdicts that set off three days of riots in African-American neighborhoods. By the time it was over, 55 people were dead, more than 2,000 were hurt, and property damage exceeded $1 billion. Two of the officers were later convicted of federal civil rights charges, and King won $3.8 million in damages from the city in a civil suit.
Murder on the Danzinger Bridge!
Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 2:06 PM - Updated: Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 3:49 PM
""I wanted the court and everyone to know how proud I am of my son and all of his accomplishments." -- Former NOPD Sgt. Kenneth Bowen's father, Kenneth Bowen Sr., a lawyer and former NOPD officer, addressing the court on behalf of his son, Sgt. Bowen, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
August 5, 2011 From left: Robert Barrios, Robert Faulcon Jr., Ignatius Hills, Robert Gisevius Jr., Kenneth Bowen, Anthony Villavaso II, and Michael Hunter Jr. (AP Photo). Video: Recap of the established facts
From left: Robert Barrios, Robert Faulcon Jr., Ignatius Hills, Robert Gisevius Jr., Kenneth Bowen, Anthony Villavaso II, and Michael Hunter Jr. (AP Photo).
NOPD Murder Trial!
July 17, 2011 A renowned forensic pathologist testified Thursday that Danziger Bridge shooting victim James Brissette was killed by a shotgun blast to the back of the head and then shot at least three additional times while he lay face-down on the ground. In all, 17-year-old Brissette sustained numerous gunshot wounds from at least three different weapons, said Dr. Vincent Di Maio. (The Danziger Bridge victims: Graphic explains what happened to members of the Bartholomew and Madison families (click on photo to view full size)) Brissette -- one of two men killed in the post-Katrina police shooting -- was shot at least twice with a shotgun, at least twice with an AK-47, and at least two other times, according to Di Maio. Aided by x-rays, graphic autopsy photos and other medical snapshots, Di Maio went wound by wound, offering forensic analysis on each of the six wounded civilians. For Brissette, Di Maio also used a photo, possibly taken by a police officer that day, that showed the dead teenager lying prone against a cement barrier. Survivors have testified that upon hearing gunshots, they jumped behind this barrier, which creates a pedestrian walkway on the side of the Danziger Bridge.
July 3, 2011 NEW ORLEANS, LA (WCJB) — A police officer whose frantic radio call led to a deadly encounter between police and residents on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina testified Wednesday that she heard gunfire and saw two armed men before she summoned help. Officer Jennifer Dupree, a government witness in the federal trial of five current or former officers charged in the fatal shootings and an alleged cover-up, said she heard the shots and saw two men with guns running away while she and other officers were on a high-rise bridge that runs parallel to the Danziger Bridge. A group of officers who responded to Dupree's "108" call — a code signaling an officer's life is in danger — shot and killed two people and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge. "Did you ever put it out on the radio that an officer was down?" Justice Department attorney Bobbi Bernstein asked. "No," Dupree responded. Prosecutors say officers on the Danziger Bridge shot unarmed people who never posed a threat, but defense attorneys have claimed the officers only opened fire after they were shot at, possibly by people who weren't shot or apprehended. On the morning of Sept. 4, 2005, less than a week after Katrina's landfall, Dupree and other officers were driving east on the Interstate 10 high-rise bridge over the Industrial Canal when they saw a caravan of vehicles parked on the highway. A man wearing a St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office shirt flagged the officers down. "Get down! They're shooting at us!" the man yelled, according to Dupree. Dupree said she heard several shots, got out of her vehicle, looked over the side of the bridge and saw four men, two of whom had guns. She said she ducked and heard a few more shots before her supervisor told her to call for help. After making the radio call, Dupree said she saw the two men with guns — one wearing a red T-shirt and another wearing a black shirt and black backpack — running toward the Danizger Bridge. She said she didn't fire at them because they were too far away and had their backs turned to her. "They weren't a threat to me," she said. From atop the high-rise bridge, she saw a rental truck pull up on the east side of the Danziger Bridge and heard a barrage of gunfire. She didn't immediately realize the men getting out of the rental truck were officers responding to her call. Prosecutors showed jurors excerpts of a grainy NBC news video shot by a cameraman from the high-rise bridge, showing Dupree running on the bridge as gunfire erupts on the other. At some point, another officer on the radio told her to "shut up" because "we have them." Dupree recalled. Prosecutors say former officer Robert Faulcon fatally shot 40-year-old Ronald Madison, a mentally disabled man, in the back on the west side of the bridge as he and his brother ran away from the gunfire on the east side of the bridge, where 17-year-old James Brissette had been shot and killed by police. Faulcon, Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and Officer Anthony Villavaso are charged in the shootings. Retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, who was assigned to investigate the shootings, is charged in the alleged cover-up. Police allegedly plotted to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify reports to make the shootings appear justified. Five former officers, including retired Lt. Michael Lohman, who was the ranking officer at the scene, have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up. Katrina's Hidden Race War: In Aftermath of Katrina, Vigilantes Shot 11 Blacks in New Orelans - Part I
Dupree: Code "108"!
July 1, 2011 When Lt. Michael Lohman (pictured left) arrived at the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, he found six people shot by his officers, but no guns to back up police allegations of a shootout between civilians and police, according to documents associated with his guilty plea filed in federal court. As the federal investigation proceeds -- and brings more charges against police -- Lohman could make a powerful prosecution witness, describing his immediate assessment that the shooting was not defensible. But defense attorneys for the involved New Orleans police officers say they too have a powerful witness: a man described in court documents as an innocent victim. They point to testimony given in a September 2005 court by Lance Madison, in which Madison says civilians were firing weapons on the bridge that morning. Police attorneys say Madison's description of a group of teenagers shooting on the bridge before police arrived bolsters their contention that the seven officers who fired their weapons did so only because somebody else shot first. Although Lohman admits orchestrating a cover-up of what he concluded was a "bad shoot," the police lawyers say Madison's testimony shows a cover-up wasn't necessary. Lance Madison is arrested Sept. 4, 2005, by New Orleans police officers at the Danziger Bridge. Accused of shooting at police officers, he was cleared of wrongdoing by a state grand jury. In some ways, Madison is an unusual alibi witness for police. He was arrested that day, accused of shooting at police and booked with attempted murder. His brother, Ronald Madison, was killed. In documents, police said Ronald Madison -- who was 40 and mentally disabled -- was also a shooter. The day of the incident, police took Lance Madison, then 49, to the temporary booking facility at the Greyhound bus station. He was eventually sent off to Hunt Correctional Center, where people arrested in New Orleans were held after the storm. It was at a preliminary hearing at Hunt several weeks after his arrest that Madison testified that other civilians were shooting. Madison's attorney, Mary Howell, declined to comment on his testimony. Federal investigators assert the Madisons were innocent and framed by the NOPD, describing a cover-up involving not just Lohman, but also the lead investigator into the shooting, Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, and other officers. Other officers have denied participating in a cover-up, with their attorneys saying that if Lohman broke any laws, he acted alone. Although Lance Madison's testimony backs up the police assertion that civilians were firing guns, the physical evidence collected by the officers who arrived at the scene does not, according to the NOPD's own internal investigation by Kaufman. No bullet casings or other physical evidence that could be tied to civilian weapons was found at the scene. During his testimony, Former New Orleans Police Lt. Michael Lohman expounded [...] on his description of how police whitewashed the Danziger Bridge shooting, saying officers didn't necessarily call it a cover-up, and didn't have to. "It was never talked about as a cover-up," Lohman testified in federal court. He said he and colleagues treated it is a "legitimate case," though the motive was clear in the immediate wake of the police shooting. Lohman said he and others knew it could be wise to collect evidence such as bullet casings fired from officers' weapons. But they didn't. Katrina's Hidden Race War: In Aftermath of Katrina, Vigilantes Shot 11 Blacks in New Orelans - Part II
June 30, 2011 Witness testimony began Monday in a trial that has already shocked and polarized the City of New Orleans and brought urgent calls for reform of the city's entire criminal-justice system. In an incident on Sept. 4, 2005, days after the storm, police officers are accused of raining a hail of bullets on two African-American families as they were fleeing Katrina's floodwaters. Ronald Madison, a mentally challenged man, was shot at least six times, while James Brissette, a high school student, was shot seven times. Both died at the scene. Four others were wounded, including a woman whose arm was shot off and a young man who needed a colostomy bag after the shootings. NOPD Sgt. Robert Gisevius makes his way to Central Lockup with supportive fellow officers lining South White Street. Seven New Orleans police officers indicted Thursday, December 28, 2006, surrendered to the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's office Tuesday, January 6, 2007, walking to central lockup past hundreds of supporting officers (Do you Notice how the White Officers shake Sgt. Gisevius' hand and pat him on the back for killing African-Americans?)) The officers on trial are accused of engaging in an elaborate effort to cover up what happened by arresting innocent civilians, falsifying reports, conspiring in secret meetings, inventing witnesses and planting evidence. Three officers who were involved in the shooting and two officers who aided in the conspiracy have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the others. The trial is expected to last eight weeks. The officers involved in the shooting -- Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon -- could receive life sentences if convicted. Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, who was not on the bridge, is charged only in the cover-up and could receive a maximum of 120 years. Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who is also implicated in the cover-up, will be tried separately, in September. He faces 70 years. Defense attorneys for the accused officers have said that the officers were shot at before they began firing. They have also pointed to the chaos and confusion of post-Katrina New Orleans as a contributing factor. New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) spokespeople and officials in the Police Association of New Orleans have distanced themselves from the accused officers while refusing to comment in depth. "We have faith in our legal system," NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said, "and are confident that those who are found guilty of committing crimes will be sanctioned accordingly." The shootings on Danziger Bridge are the most notorious of at least nine separate incidents -- most of which occurred in the days just after Katrina -- being examined by federal agents. "This trial is going to show the country and the world that we have a serious problem with our police department," said Eddie Jordan, the city's former district attorney. "This department is engaged in horrendous acts against its citizens." For years, activists say, every check and balance in the city's criminal-justice system failed. They complain of judges who are too close to prosecutors; a city coroner who sides with the police version of events; and an entire system that seems focused on locking up people for misdemeanors instead of stopping violent crime. Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 4:54 pm PT NEW ORLEANS (WCJB) — Twelve jurors and four alternates were picked Thursday to hear the case against five current or former police officers charged in the deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge in Hurricane Katrina's chaotic aftermath. Opening statements for the federal trial — the centerpiece of a sprawling Justice Department probe of alleged police misconduct in New Orleans — were scheduled to start Monday. The jury of seven men and five women was selected from a pool of roughly 70 people after two days of questioning, mostly behind closed doors. Five former officers already have pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up involving the fatal shootings of two people and wounding of four others on the Danziger Bridge after the 2005 storm's landfall.
An Elaborate Cover-Up!
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