Ex-New Orleans cops get prison time in Danziger Bridge shootings
The shootings happened on Danziger Bridge six days after much of New Orleans went underwater when Hurricane Katrina hit.
April 4th, 2012
07:44 PM ET

Ex-New Orleans cops get prison time in Danziger Bridge shootings

A federal judge Wednesday sentenced five former New Orleans police officers to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for the shootings of unarmed civilians in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, prosecutors said.

The shootings occurred on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005, six days after much of New Orleans went underwater when the powerful hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast. The ex-officers were convicted in August on a combined 25 counts of civil rights violations.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt imposed the stiffest sentence on former officer Robert Faulcon, who was handed a 65-year term for his involvement in shooting two of the victims. Former sergeants Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius got 40 years for their roles in the incident, while ex-officer Robert Villavaso was sentenced to 38 years.

The lightest term went to former detective sergeant Arthur Kaufman, who was sentenced to six years for attempting to cover up what the officers had done, according to the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans.

The men were accused of opening fire on an unarmed family, killing 17-year-old James Brissette and wounding four others. Minutes later, Faulcon shot and killed Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man described by Justice Department officials as having severe mental disabilities and who was trying to flee the scene when he was shot, according to the Justice Department.

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Filed under: Crime • Hurricane Katrina • Louisiana
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    GD asshats!

    April 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see justice done. These few "law enforcement" officials saw themselves as above the law. Wrong answer. And I'm sure a lot of those inmates are happy to see their old friends in blue too. I would wish them good luck, but nah, they don't deserve it.

    April 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dazzle ©

    Finally justice is served. These so called officers are a blight and a stain on humanity. Hey to @bobcat(iah) and @banasy.

    April 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Hey dazzle

    Glad to see you here. How have you been ?

    April 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Hey to you @bobcat(iah), good here. Just finished a DIY move and enjoying the Golden Hour here in Tucson. How are things with you?

      April 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    @ dazzle

    It's all hunky dory down this way. Humidity running 150%. Mosquitos the size of B-52 bombers. Never ending grass cutting. It don't get no better than this. Groan

    April 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @bobcat: the mosquitoes are bad here, too. all the bugs are. it didn't get cold enough this winter to kill them..

      April 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      cutcha grass and stop that complainin'
      cha here!

      April 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CowGirlUp

    My ex-husband went down to help. Saw it all. New Orleans P.D acted like brutes in badges. No compassion whatsoever from them. Glad to see it finally came out and JUSTICE was done. Just soory it took this long for the hurting people to get PEACE. Now they can move on or can they?

    April 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Superman

    @@@bobcat,,,,,,,,,where do you live man i love that kind of wheather. And as far as these so called X cops. They still have theres coming after the get slammed behind that first set of bars they will know that they were in the wrong and the nightmare begins!

    April 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    A sad day for America. Keep in mind these heroes were not guilty of murder. I do look forward to their appeal and hopefully this tragedy will be over-turned. As for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, it is now time to disband this hate group. The Civil Rights division can take away someone's life just like a bullet.

    A sad say for America.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pete

    Cops,that's why I suggest lengthy physiological testing,as well.Just because they carry a badge,doesn't mean they're legal.Badges can be bought anywhere and that's scarey.Now because the introduction of the cell phone cameras,police are being seen in a different light.Just check in your major cities how police handle civilians armed with cell phone cameras,they get very offensive,sometimes commandearing the phone as seen repeatedly by other cell phone users.That's why so many DIRTY COPS are coming to light and being prosecuted by the same people they swore to protect,a real shame.This can be avoided with proper checks and balances,being more precise into the hiring process,they have our well being at stake,plain and simple....

    April 5, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. ♔Mmmmm♕

    that's goodforya! yoooooou dirty cops!

    April 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kate

    I had a Force 3 love spell. My first reaction was “Will this thing work”
    I could not believe the encounter, I will remember it forever.
    I dropped my bag in the street – all my things out! A man stopped to help and as we bent to retrieve things, we bumped heads. That first eye to eye was electric static. I heard the air crackle. The recognition in both our eyes and heart space was phenomenal. Prophet vovolatold me I was going to meet with a bump. He was so right. Ha. I will laugh forever with this one. it is the work of vovolaspellcast@yahoo.com


    April 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dors


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    January 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ANELOS

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    August 11, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |