Feds Probe Katrina Bridge ShootingAugust 11th, 2009
New Orleans PoliceThe brother of one of the two Black men shot to death by police on a New Orleans bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina said he feels “uplifted” by the news that the FBI is ramping up the investigation. “When time passes, it’s like it’s forgotten, and you don’t know what’s going on,” said Romell Madison, whose brother, Ronald, was killed by police. Witnesses said that officers fired at a group of unarmed people on the Danzinger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, killing two and injuring four. They reportedly were crossing the bridge in search of food. A state court judge, however, threw out murder and attempted murder charges against officers. Nearly a year ago, federal officials announced that they would investigate whether the seven current and former officers involved in the shooting violated the civil rights of the victims. On Monday, the FBI took two computers from the New Orleans Police Department as part of its investigation. Police spokesman Bob Young told The Associated Press that the department’s Public Integrity Bureau helped federal authorities remove the computers from the Bureau of Investigations. While police do not deny firing the shots, they contend that the people on the bridge fired at them first. Civil rights, religious and community leaders have pressed the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division to step in.