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. jesus christ

    Less than 5 percent of law enforcement agencies do not require college credit.

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

    I can't believe someone got 8 years for murdering two people and firing on unarmed civilians. But that's the two tiered American justice system for you,

    December 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • I love sterotypes

      Jeff, Where did you see anywhere in the news article that this guy was convicted of murdering two people? Where did you see anywhere in the news article that this guy was convicted of murdering anyone? He was not even on trial for muder. He got 8 years for obstructing justice and concealing evidence, not murder. Read the article again.

      December 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ijreilly

    From New Orleans....(During Katrina) Cops blind firing out the window as they drove through nieghborhoods.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bdabing

    Wow only eight years. He should have gotten life. One of the men was mentally challenged. Its a sad day when officers are not held accountable. My heart and prayers go out to the families of the lost.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JomoDaMusicMan

    There were more than a dozen black people shot & killed during Katrina by police & vigilantes. I wonder how many of u white people would sit and wait for help while your babies needed milk and food while super markets were full of food & supplies. YOU CALL THAT LOOTING, I CALL IT SURVIVAL. How could any cop kill someone who is stealing food for his family. Breaking into private homes is different & any homeowner has the right to kill to protect his family & property; but breaking into supermarkets for food & supplies during a major crisis is gonna happen. Meat & other perishables are gonna spoil anyway within a week. Let's face it folks when government gave orders to shoot to kill the looters it was not to save merchandise it was more of a message it was open season to hunt down & kill black people. THEREFORE BLACKS DID NOT HAVE TO LOOT IN ORDER TO BE KILLED, THEY ONLY HAD TO BE IN THE SIGHT OF A WHITE PERSON OR AN UNCLE TOM COP WITH A WEAPON

    December 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dont beleive the hype

      Yep, I watched people running out of stores with tv's, appliances and video games. I wonder how many mouths that 42" flat screen television fed?

      December 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. felton

    The Police shot innocent people running over a bridge to get away from the floods, seeking safe shelter, and the reason why the police shot them is because they didn’t want the black people from NO to come over into their county.
    The Police are tried and found not guilty by a corrupt judicial system that included the Police Boss, the DA, and the Judge. The Feds come in, based on physical evidence; they cause the Sherriff to turn states evidence, he dimes out his own and confesses.
    The Officers that lied to protect themselves from the murders they committed , the system that didn’t defend the lives of the dead but allowed the lies to go forward and went along with their lies, and the police that shot the men seeking shelter, got 8 years. There’s a black woman in jail for accessory to robbing a man of $11 dollars is doing life, and have been in jail for 11 years already.
    When the ones who are suppose to protect us and work for our interest, break the law, they should receive triple the punishment, otherwise, we allow criminals with positions to abuse the system. The last time this happened, there was civil war.
    The answer to this problem, hold people who seek power via public or state offices to 3 times the amount of punishment the average person would get for committing the same crime, and do not allow consideration for on job stress, in-proper or flawed training, and mistakes.
    The most important thing here,,, someone lost a loved one and the cost of that life was equal to 8 years in jail for those who are suppose to defend the same person that they shot.
    For anyone of us who expects our justice system to fair, you really won’t understand until you’re the one that has been a victim of the ones that are corrupt.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sburg

    u guys realize not everybody does the right thing. and no cop has the right to shoot anybody over a tv. his sentence was way too lite. u can get eight years just for having a pound of pot. u kidding me. the guy who probably died running away from this cop didn't get any justice.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sgt. Slaughter

    Really, I was there and the animals were running all over the city. Its a wonder more of them were not killed. By police or citizens protecting their lives and property

    December 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JimBreiske#2

    Grrr... They were black, so they deserved it! Grrr.. *sarcasm*

    December 1, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT

    wonder what sentance if the cop was black and the victims white?

    who cares if they were stealing a tv anyways, that's what insurance is for.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anthony

    What does people looting have to do with this idiot shooting at unarmed, scared, desperate men, women, and children. Many of them with their backs turned to him. This man is a coward, and eight years is no way near enough for what he did.

    December 2, 2010 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. sburg

    people looking to steal any form of entertainment during something like that just goes to show you that whoever made the bumper sticker "u cant fix stupid" was apparently right. you would think there would be more important things to worry about in a time of crisis. bet those idiots were thinking about that tv and where they'd put it while they were stuck in that stadium with no water or food for a couple of days. stupid people don't know their stupid. lol

    December 2, 2010 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. sburg

    for the guy who said go to Iran. there's a reason i don't live there its because its an Islamic dictatorship dip-&@?!. why don't we all just say these things are fine here its alright in Iran. see what that gets u. freakin idiot. and yeah corruption runs deep in the police force. anyone who lives in a small town in rural Indiana could tell u that. the idea is to get rid of it.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. nkin

    Maybe everyone should look at the facts. He was not the only cop, others, including the "murders" are still awaiting trial. Justice is not done yet and he did receive the MAXIMUM sentance, plus 9 months.

    From the NY Times: "A former New Orleans police officer has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for helping to cover up the deadly shootings of two unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. The sentence imposed Wednesday by a federal district judge, Sarah Vance, against the former officer, Michael Hunter, was the maximum allowed plus nine months above the maximum recommended guideline. Mr. Hunter is one of five former officers who have pleaded guilty in the shootings that happened a week after Katrina hit. "

    December 2, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Thomas

    8 years. Sadly, with good behavior and his former public service position, he'll be out in 3 or 4. Sounds like getting away with murder to me.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
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