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. Robert

    This is a first in NOPD justice. These people have run rampant throughout New Orleans since I was a kid and frankly I'm surprised that any one of these @%#!!@'s was even charged with something. I was down there when Katrina was hitting and after. There was NO REASON for this "man" to shoot anyone. Everyone was understandably stressed but only a tiny percentage did anything even close to illegal. Having been around 10s of thousands during Katrina I didn't witness a single crime. NOPD .. Take the rest of em down while you're at it! Corrupt pigs.

    December 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • barnyardog

      Robert, I don't know what part of New Orleans you live in, but where I lived during Katrina, I witnessed a tiny percentage that did'n,t that wasn't doing anything wrong. Remember the national guard had to be called in because of the crime?

      December 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeaBigots Suck

      No, they were called in because of media rumors of crime which were all unsubstantiated.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ATLguy17

      Too bad you didn't have TV coverage while you were there. CNN was showing helicopter footage of people looting stores and breaking into houses.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      CNN showed some looters, but the overwhelming majority of people were suffering badly. CNN quickly stopped showing the images of the looters because they were insignificant–they had no where to take the loot. I'm glad this idiot was sentenced to 8 years, but with 2 dead and 4 wounded he should have been sentenced to 10 to 20 yrs.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      While I won't say that every cop is like this, I would point out that quite a few cops think they are in some kind of frat party, and can get away, literally with murder. What is the evidence.
      A. The Haitian in New York, killed in a hail of gunfire as he tried to show his ID.
      B. The grandma in Atlanta. Cops told it was a drug house burst in, and not only shot her dead, but hid drugs in the house to falsely try to justify their crimes.
      C. Don't know the city, but a several hundred pound cop beat the tar out of a barmaid, who apparently had done nothing.
      D. The cops that recently beat the college student that was just standing in a doorway, WHILE numerous other cops on horseback rode by without a question
      E. The little black kid in the botcamp in Florida?, that the guards beat to death.
      F. Rodney King, need I say more.
      G. Not national, but in Springfield, Illinois, a bunch of armed, drunk cops at one of their wive's birthday, saw a customer accidently bump one of their trucks. As a group they beat the p*ss out of him, and tried to charge HIM with a DUI.
      H The top cop, in Tarant county Texas, in the eighties, that ran into a light pole. Reporters could smell the whiskey 30 feet away. But the cops said he'd suffered a light stroke, to get him off. It was completely whitewashed.
      H. Then, just a simple thing, everyone has endured. There's the cop in the evening, that pulls up behind you with his brights on, and tailgates, itself a crime. You are doing the speed limit, and can't even tell there is a cop behind you. Just some jerk, you think. Suddenly, the cop pulls out doing 70-80 miles an hour, leaving you in the dust. No siren, no lights, just a road hazard that would have seen you in jail for the same stunt. Why? BECAUSE THEY CAN FLAUNT THE LAW, AND WHO WILL STOP THEM, THAT's WHY!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wilson


      These murders are happening all over the country regularly, but except for the local newspapers, they are ignored. Local prosecutors rarely bring charges against cops for murdering unarmed black men, and since whatever prosecutions take place are never publicized, the incidence of such atrocities is unknown.

      Three cops were found guilty in federal court of killing Henry Glover at the same time in New Orleans, and except for the Times Picayune, no mention in any newspaper has occurred. They shot Glover, and when others tried to get help for him, cops seized and beat them. Then some of the cops drove the car that Glover's body was in to an isolated place, set it on fire, one cop reportedly laughing at the incident, and filed a false report to cover it up. All of that was insufficient to sustain local prosecution for the crime.

      It is obvious that black male life has no value to cops in the United States. Otherwise, how do so many of these incidents go ignored and unpunished?

      December 13, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Authority9

    People of the United States.
    Somehow we forget the pressure the police in New Orleans was under.Yes the officer should not have fired in the manner he did and he was wrong.The sentence was to lite.

    December 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jl taylor

    There are no winners here.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      There are winners. The people of N.O. are the winners because a murderer is taken off the streets.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. joker22joe

    bend over

    December 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mogwi

    But mom says i'm always a winner...

    December 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jay

    8 years....2 people dead and shooting in to a crowd of unarmed people....8 years....I know people who got more time for drugs and attempted murder...cops get away with everything....F$&k the law

    December 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Welcome to Louisiana justice. Now try living there...

      December 1, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Bowling

      The police officer who received the 8-year term was not the officer who fired the shots. He is being charged for his participation in covering up the crime and obstructing justice, NOT firing on unarmed civilians, which he did not commit. You're confusing his actions with the actions of the other officers.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brittany

      I'm with Robert, I'm shocked anybody was even charged with anything. Remember the school teacher who was beaten in the French Quarter not long after Katrina? That stuff happens all the time...That guy was 'lucky' a camera was around.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      The last para in the article is: 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.

      He shot at people and I'm glad he's in jail.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Bowling

      @GailS – You're correct, I apologize as I misread that portion. He did fire, however was not convicted of injuring or killing anyone. Not to say that isn't a serious offense of course.

      December 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailS

      No problem... Looks like Hunter made a plea bargin. He admitted guilt for a light sentence. Lucky chump.

      December 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erika Marie

      Robert Bowling, did you not read the last paragraph?

      "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."

      December 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Glenn Holland

    When will the human race learn from tragedies and rise for a higher calling to help one another?

    December 1, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Never. Perhaps the next species to evolve on earth will do better. Humanities days are numbered....and that's a good thing.

      December 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NickB5

    It's about time. F***ing dirty cops.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • daimaw

      In general, police in North America are horrible. You got the feeling they are under the supervision of Heinrich Himmler !

      December 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jay

    Should have been life!!! Hope he enjoys it!!

    December 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA!

      He probably will. Guarantee the time will be served in the lowest security prison possible, not the pen that the average murderer would be thrown in. If anyone knows otherwise, please reply. GED pukes with a license to pillage.

      December 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    Cops get special treatment. 8 years. wow.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. efsharr

    If the people crossing the bridge that day had fired back at police, they would be on death row right now- if they survived the attack that would have followed. And if the people who were crossing the bridge that day had been white, would the police have opened fire? I don't think so.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. duke

    Only civilians get real prison time MURDER!
    This idiot should never see the light of day as a free being ever again!!
    And a pox on all his supporters!!

    December 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mj

    it should have been life. im sure if someone shot a cop in coldblood id be atleast life, so why should a dirty cop killing civilians only get 8 years. thats worse, we trust these men and women with weapons and authority. when they missuse it they should have to pay even more for taking advantage and breaking that trust. this makes me trust police, as a whole, even less.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA!

      Agreed. Any crime the police commit should carry at bear minimum what the penalty would have been for the person that committed the same crime against the police AND not allow the “he’s serves so courageously” defense in trial.

      Better yet, they chose there profession the same as I’ve chosen mine. Let us all be equal and not allow different severity of charges based on whether a crime was committed by whom or to whom, based on profession.

      December 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Blondet

    He only got 8 years??? That just doesn't sound right. He lied, manipulated AND KILLED 2 innocent people.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush, this is what the picture of injustice looks like when it's an officier involved killing innocent civilians.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
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