Former officer gets 8 years for New Orleans bridge shooting
December 1st, 2010
07:47 PM ET

Former officer gets 8 years for New Orleans bridge shooting

A former New Orleans police officer was sentenced to 8 years in prison Wednesday in connection with a police-involved shooting on the Danziger Bridge that left two civilians dead and four wounded shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Hunter pleaded guilty in April in federal court to charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and concealing a known crime. He was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release.

Hunter and other officers drove to the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, in response to a radio call that said officers on the nearby I-10 bridge had come under fire, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Hunter admitted that officers on the east side of the Danziger Bridge fired at people even though they did not appear to have any weapons, according to the DOJ. 

Hunter also admitted to firing repeatedly at people who were running away over the bridge even though they did not appear to have weapons or pose a threat to officers as they ran up the bridge.

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Filed under: Crime • Hurricane Katrina • Louisiana
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. pingpaul

    We are very aware that police officers put their lives on the line every day. Yet, police officers are supposed to be trained to handle highly tense situations. It takes a special kind of person, with a special kind of courage, a coolness of mind that enables them to analyze a situation quickly and react appropriately. That is why most police forces prefer military veterans.Their training and discipline enables them to react properly. From the evidence presented, it appears that these police officers did not evaluate the situation correctly, and reacted inappropriately. In this case, it cost the lives of men. That should not be dismissed as "collateral damage." The police broke the law and must be held responsible. Both the police and the courts are to support the law. As citizens, we must support the law, too. We all saw what happens when there is no law in the aftermath of Katrina.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. maria garcia

    That is exactly the point we do not live in Mexico or Iran so our officers should reflect much higher standards than what is common in supposed third world countries

    December 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dj

    And I myself earned a ged,you should be mindful that ged does not equal peice of crap.otherwise,i agree.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jesus christ

    I'm not saying the officers should not be punished. Absolutely penalize lawbreakers, regardless of their role as civilian or police officer. They broke the law. They deserve jail time. What needs to stop is the lumping of all officers into a category of corrupt. The vast majority of police officers you meet on a daily basis are good men and women. The vast majority are friends, neighbors, have kids on your kid's sports team, attend your church, get up and go to work just like you. The only difference is their lives are being put into risky situations to ensure you get to keep on living a nice quiet life. Less disparagement for the law would be lovely.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dj

    Yea,it did result in 2 deaths "jesus" you idiot.read before you speak.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jesus christ

    The officer in question did not kill anyone.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. erolwmadore

    Officers with higher standards will never happen until there's a pay raise. Otherwise there will be many of them abusing their power. Sad but true.

    Women Men Adore

    December 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA!

      Only hire people with more than a GED "education" and standards will improve, as will their pay. As is, I think they are paid and are allowed to spike their retirement way too much for their demonstrated level of education choice. (only one percent or less PD’s in the US require a bachelors degree)

      December 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matthew

    A cop commits 1st or 2nd degree murder and he gets 8 years. In the South, If I kill or am an accomplice to murder of a cop, I will be executed or receive a life sentance without parole. And cops wonder why they are hated. The judicial system in the South is an embarrassing joke.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • SO TRUE

      it's an embarrassment everywhere, that's the worse part

      December 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. I love sterotypes

    He did not get 8 years for shooting anyone. He got 8 years for obstructing justice and lying in FEDERAL court. Thats what he was on trial for. He probably was not charged with murder because the AUSA did not feel he/she had sufficient evidence to take a murder case to trial. So they build a strong case for what they could get him for. Willing to bet he copped a plea and will testify against others for a lesser sentence. This is common practice in the criminal justice system. All kinds of criminals, black and white, cop pleas every day to lesser crimes. Would you rather he have been aquiited of muder and walked away free?

    December 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dakota

    I look at it like this, the media only tells us whatg tghey want. I have learned u listen to both sides and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sburg

    just what are people supposed to do when it takes fema that long to get to a place where everything u had was destroyed. including the place where u sleep all your food your clothing. f it id get what i need to survive and keep my family safe. if it means stealing some food or clothes from wal mart. how's that for Marshall law

    December 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • I love sterotypes

      Agreed. But what about all those folks I saw on CNN running out of the store with TV's, appliances and X'boxes?

      December 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Benastal

    Sickness, racist and ignorance. You pay for what you do to innocent human beings. This should never had happened at first place.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Name*Cool

    It is a victory for the public

    December 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jesus christ

    The actual stats show that police departments with 10 or less officers don't require college credit. However, according to law enforcement employment websites:

    A four year college degree in any field of study will qualify you for most federal, state and local law enforcement jobs. In lieu of a degree, most federal agencies will accept three years of responsible work experience. Each agency can determine what they consider to be qualifying experience. For example, the Secret Service wants you to have three years of criminal investigative experience. Three years as a police officer will not necessarily qualify you with them. Whereas, the U.S. Marshals Service will accept you without any law enforcement experience as long as you have three years of supervisory experience. Most state and local law enforcement departments require an applicant to have some college credits, usually around 45 – 60. Some require an Associate degree while other require a four year degree.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dev

    I have to think that for a brief moment in the medieval days when the justice system consisted of torture or people were made to pay for their crimes by being sentenced to the same punishment that was done to the victim...people were less likely to commit crimes. That must have been a good crime deterrent but the problem with that and the death penalty is what a huge mistake it is when they find out later that the "criminal" was innocent.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
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