Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-up in the Wake of Katrina

By Ronnie Greene

Named one of many most sensible books of 2015 via NewsOne Now, and named the most effective books of August 2015 by way of Apple

Winner of the 2015 Investigative newshounds and Editors ebook Award

A harrowing tale of blue on black violence, of black lives that likely didn't matter.

On September four, 2005, six days after typhoon Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, teams of individuals intersected at the Danziger Bridge, a low-rising expanse over the economic Canal. One was once the police who had stayed at the back of as Katrina roared close to, wanting to keep regulate as their urban spun into chaos. the opposite was once the citizens compelled to stick at the back of with them through the typhoon and, on that fateful Sunday, looking for the fundamentals of survival: nutrients, drugs, defense. They collided that morning in a frenzy of gunfire.

When the taking pictures stopped, a steady forty-year-old guy with the brain of a kid lay slumped at the floor, seven bullet wounds in his again, his white blouse became crimson. A seventeen-year-old used to be riddled with gunfire from his heel to his head. A mother’s arm used to be blown off; her daughter’s belly gouged via a bullet. Her husband’s head was once pierced by means of shrapnel. Her nephew was once shot within the neck, jaw, abdominal, and hand.  Like all of the different sufferers, he used to be black—and unarmed.

Before the blood had dried at the pavement, the shooters, each one a member of the hot Orleans Police division, and their supervisors hatched a cover-up. They planted a gun, invented witnesses, and charged in their sufferers with tried homicide. on the NOPD, they have been hailed as heroes.

Shots at the Bridge
explores probably the most dramatic instances of police violence noticeable in our kingdom within the final decade—the bloodbath of blameless humans, conducted by way of contributors of the NOPD, within the brutal, disorderly days following typhoon Katrina. It finds the phobia that gripped the police of a urban slid into anarchy, the situations that drove determined survivors to the bridge, and the horror that erupted whilst the police opened fireplace. It conscientiously reveals  the cover-up that just about buried the reality.  And eventually, it strains the criminal maze that, a decade later, leaves the sufferers and their household nonetheless trying to find justice.

This is the tale of the way the folk intended to guard and serve voters can do violence, cover their tracks, and paintings the criminal approach because the kingdom awaits justice.

From the Hardcover edition.

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That’s your brother? ” Morrell Johnson requested. “Yes,” Lance stated. “He’s handicapped. ” “I’m sorry to listen to that. ” “Did you spot him? ” Lance had to recognize. “Yeah,” Morrell advised Lance Madison. “He was once mendacity at the part of the outdated van over on the hotel less than hide. ” “Did he stream? ” “No,” Morrell acknowledged. “He by no means moved. ” Lance started to sob. Johnson attempted to convenience him. Don’t cry, he instructed the stranger. Don’t cry. Lance Madison, readying to stand tried homicide fees, informed himself: bear in mind this man’s identify, Morrell Johnson, and the boy’s identify, Leonard Bartholomew IV. “So I simply stored on asserting it persistently to myself until—I say I’m going to want those humans to be a witness for the crime that used to be dedicated opposed to us. ” Packed contained in the police truck, along with his palms at the back of his again, Madison became to an officer. “Why have been you all capturing at us? ” “I must have shot you,” one of many officials instructed him, “and I wouldn’t be dealing with this. ” If Lance have been lifeless, he’d don't have anything to give an explanation for. Lance’s handcuffs have been so tight they reduce into his wrists. He requested police to loosen the cuffs. They missed him back. At police headquarters, a feminine officer set Morrell Johnson and the more youthful Bartholomew loose with meals and bottled water. She advised them to capture a bus out of city. Johnson taken care of the Bartholomew son, who he had by no means met sooner than that day. “We was once simply jogging, jogging down Loyola. and that i requested him, I requested the place he was once going, what he used to be going to do, the place he used to be going. simply because he didn’t have no one, nowhere to go,” Johnson acknowledged. at the different part of the bridge, paramedics tended to the Bartholomew relatives. Susan’s arm must be amputated. Her daughter and husband have been additionally rushed to the health center, the place their wounds required speedy awareness. A supervising paramedic took one examine Jose Holmes—shot within the stomach, legs, palms, hand, elbow, neck, and stomach—and informed his companion to maneuver directly to another individual. Jose was once too a ways long past. “Don’t quit on me,” Jose whispered. Stanton Doyle Arnold, an EMT (emergency clinical technician) from upstate Louisiana who volunteered to serve in New Orleans after Katrina, observed the entire blood and will now not think the teenager was once nonetheless alive. “He’s been shot such a lot of times,” the paramedic observed. He didn’t count on the sufferer to make it. Jose endured to respire. Arnold, armed with a . 380 Colt himself end result of the chaos within the streets, had prayed within the ambulance because it raced to the scene of the taking pictures. Now he leaned over Jose Holmes, focusing his care on his patient’s higher thoracic hollow space, after which helped positioned him on a stretcher and into the ambulance. quickly the NOPD might have a few company with the teen. Jose Holmes, clinging to existence with a belly wound that may require surgical procedure, used to be poised to stand fees of tried homicide. The officials who fired on him might declare Jose, like Lance Madison, used to be a felony. Officer Kevin Bryan made his long ago up the bridge and observed a guy at the flooring, lined in blood. EMTs pressed one facet of the victim’s chest.

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