Democracy Now: Ex-Police Lt. Admits to Cover-Up in Post-Katrina Killings
In New Orleans, a retired police lieutenant has pleaded guilty to directing a cover-up of the police killing of two people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The victims, forty-two-year-old Ronald Madison and nineteen-year-old James Brissette, were crossing the Danziger Bridge in search of food. Madison, who was mentally handicapped, was shot seven times, five in his back. On Wednesday, former New Orleans Police Department Lt. Michael Lohman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors say Lohman conspired with other unidentified officers in fabricating witness statements, falsifying incident reports, and planting a gun at the crime scene. After the plea, Ronald Madison’s brother, Romell Madison, spoke outside the courtroom.
Romell Madison: “Tremendous relief for us to see that we have some sort of closure that we’re working on. We’re very happy to see that the rest of the population, our family, other victims, and the citizens of New Orleans, should be relieved that there is still justice for everybody here.”
Lohman’s conviction is the first in the Danziger case. Charges were dismissed against seven police officers in 2008. Prosecutors say their investigation is continuing. Federal investigators are also probing several other police killings of New Orleans residents in the aftermath of Katrina.