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5 ex-police officers sentenced for killing civilians after Hurricane Katrina

The former New Orleans police officers were given prison terms ranging from 6 to 65 years for shooting dead unarmed residents on a bridge after Katrina.

Demonstrators react as they found out the five police officers were convicted of the shooting last year
Demonstrators react as they found out the five police officers were convicted of the shooting last year
Image: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

FIVE FORMER NEW Orleans police officers have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 65 years for their roles in deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon were convicted of firearms charges in the shootings. Retired Sergeant Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was assigned to investigate the shootings, was convicted of helping orchestrate the cover-up.

Faulcon received the stiffest sentence of 65 years. Bowen and Gisevius each got 40 years while Villavaso was sentenced to 38 years. Kaufman received the lightest sentence at six years.

A federal jury convicted the officers in August 2011 of civil rights violations in the shootings on the Danziger Bridge and the cover-up.

Police shot six people, killing two, less than a week after the storm’s landfall on 29 August 2005. To make the shootings appear justified, officers conspired to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify reports.

The case became the centerpiece of the Justice Department’s push to clean up the troubled New Orleans Police Department.
U.S. District Kurt Engelhardt heard hours of testimony earlier in the day from prosecutors, defense attorneys, relatives of shooting victims and the officers.

Police officers convicted of shooting unarmed people post-Katrina >

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Associated Press

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