A federal judge is giving the five former New Orleans Police Department officers convicted of killing two on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina a new chance at life.
Citing the “grotesque” misconduct of federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt is ordering a new trial for Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon, Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman. All were tried and convicted in 2011 for their role in the Danziger shooting.
“The public must have absolute trust and confidence in this process,” he wrote in a 129-page order. “Re-trying this case is a very small price to pay in order to protect the validity of the verdict in this case, the institutional integrity of this Court, and the criminal justice system as a whole.”
If you recall, less than a week after the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the officers named above shot and killed two unarmed people and wounded four others as they tried to cross the Danziger bridge to safety.
Here’s video coverage from that tragic event:
Attorneys for the five asked for another trial, citing a series of leaks to news organizations were part of a “secret public relations campaign” by the government that deprived their clients of a fair trial.
A trial date has not been set.