Ethnicity and Police

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Ethnicity And Police
Cedric O. Tubbs
CJA-344
December 18, 2012
Michael Joyner

Ethnicity and Police
September 4, 2005 six days after hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, six New Orleans police officers loaded into the back of a Budget rental truck and stormed the Danziger Bridge in the eastern area of the city. The officers were responding to a call of shots fired and an officer was down, in reality police officers escorting a civilian convoy on the I-10 high rise made a distress call over the police radio of shots fired on the Danziger Bridge and made the impression that an officer was down. A group of at least nine officers were in the truck all from the 7th districts make shift station. Claimed once they approached the bridge they received gun fire from civilians, which made them open fire. Civilians on the bridge claim they were ambushed by the officers in the truck. The officers shot eight unarmed citizens fatally wounding two 17 year old James Brissette and 40 year old Robert Madison who was mentally disabled. The officers were wrong in doing so, because they did not verify any citizens carrying weapons nor did they identify themselves as police officers. The officers opened fire on the civilians under the assumption they were carrying weapons. By doing so the officers did not follow standard procedures (Nola, 2005). The New Orleans Police Department investigated the shootings internally, but victims of the shootings felt that justice was not served. The Bartholomew and Madison families who were the victims along with an outcry from citizens of New Orleans led the Federal Bureau of investigations to investigate the city’s police department. During the federal probe of the shootings, evidence was found that officers were not justified in the death of the two individuals, and the internal probe by investigators attempted to cover the evidence. Two years after the incident officers were arrested and indicted on murder charges, but the...
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