Hurricane Katrina, Six Murders, And a Cover-Up

Hoo-Boy

Admitting a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former New Orleans police supervisor pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday, confessing that he participated in a conspiracy to justify the shooting of six unarmed people after Hurricane Katrina that was hatched not long after police stopped firing their weapons.

The guilty plea of Lt. Michael Lohman, who retired from the department earlier this month, contains explosive details of the alleged cover-up and ramps up the legal pressure on police officers involved in the shooting and subsequent investigation. It's unclear when Lohman's cooperation with federal authorities began, but he presumably is prepared to testify against the officers he says helped him lie about the circumstances of a shooting he immediately deemed a "bad shoot."

Lohman, who pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to obstruct justice, admits he failed to order the collection of evidence or canvassing of witnesses, helped craft police reports riddled with false information, participated in a plan to plant a gun under the bridge and lied to investigators who questioned police actions.

A spokesman for NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley said the chief did not have a comment about the guilty plea. Bob Young said Riley stands by the quote he made Tuesday, as news of the guilty plea broke. "We hope that justice is served," he said then.

The article says they justified the shooting by saying the civilians opened fire first, even though now it seems they were unarmed. Why did the police fire on them, then? There's obviously no excuse for this but I'd like to know how it started.

Tip of the iceberg.

Hopefully in the next 10 years or so, someone "breaks" the story about how white 'militias' were hunting down blacks.

This was a comment on Metafilter about this scandal:

Davenhill on Metafilter[/url]]
This is pretty much par for the course. When I was living in New Orleans in the mid to late 90s, there were police officers who put out hits on citizens for complaining that they were too verbally abusive during traffic stops (the police internal affairs department that handled citizen complains basically handed over the complaints to the offending officers, and a mere $50 bucks was enough to pay off a drug dealer to kill the citizen who complained... with a nice little message to witnesses why it was happening, just so the message wasn't lost on people). The ONLY reason THAT incident was caught (obviously the internal affairs department wasn't going to investigate a murder they had a part in) was because the police officer was being tapped by the Fed.

Why were the Feds tapping this police officer? Because the had set up a sting to have New Orleans Police officers guard a gigantic shipment of cocaine. They had more than a dozen officers who were going to take part, many officers, all using assumed code names because this sort of thing happens all the time. They only caught a handful of the officers, though, because while they were tapping the NOPD they discovered the police officers were planning on murdering the Federal undercover agents so they could steal/sell the cocaine for themselves... so the Feds had to pull the plug early.

There were police officers that were robbing banks (not in uniform) on a regular basis and pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There was another police officer who, high on crack, robbed a Vietnamese restaurant where she and her partner regularly ate for free. Turns out her partner was there when she started the robbery, so she shot him in the head, then methodically went through the entire restaurant and murdered each and every family member she could find. The upside to her being high on crack was that she lost count, and one of the family members survived and made the rookie mistake of, you know, calling the police. Guess who showed in a uniform. She did. "Fortunately" (? some speculation here - but see the above example where the department helped put a hit on a citizen) because she was black and shot a white police officer to death, she was brought to justice.

There have been suspects (cop killers) shot dead on the courtroom steps. There was fear the above officer would be killed by officers, too, before she could even take the stand.

So yeah, it only got a lot, lot, lot worse after Katrina. It's almost a certainty that scores of people who "died" during Katrina were taken out by opportunistic/corrupt police officers.

This was only caught because it was so public and a police officer flipped, which is very rare indeed. Google his name in a couple of years and see if he makes it out of prison alive. I bet he won't.

New Orleans is like a third world country in terms of the way its police department and city function. Corrupt, incompetent, and very dangerous.

But it's a great city for food - highly recommend it for a vacation. Seriously. Just be very polite to the police.

That's a great thread, and I recommend reading it.

Malor wrote:
Crazyness

Is that really true? I can't believe it. I honestly cannot believe it.

FSeven wrote:
Tip of the iceberg.

Hopefully in the next 10 years or so, someone "breaks" the story about how white 'militias' were hunting down blacks.

Wasn't this a Jean Claude Van Damme movie?

Lot of wild accusations here, without even a link to back it up (i know f7, you don't do our home work for us) I'd like to see some actual facts rather then the racial hyperbole that flew around after Katrina. If I mentioned the reports of Blacks shooting at helicopters, I'd be called a racist, but the resident White Knight can come up with Rosewood 2, and it's fact.

The link is in the "quote" tag, and there's quite a bit of info in that thread.

I do know from my own prior reading that the New Orleans police force has been famously corrupt for decades. Louisiana government in general is remarkably dishonest.

Was there ever any substantiation on the 'shooting at helicopters' claim? I seem to remember that it was debunked?

The link is in the "quote" tag, and there's quite a bit of info in that thread.

I do know from my own prior reading that the New Orleans police force has been famously corrupt for decades. Louisiana government in general is remarkably dishonest.

Was there ever any substantiation on the 'shooting at helicopters' claim? I seem to remember that it was debunked?

I'm talking about the militias hunting black folk. I'll give you that the NOPD was corrupt and probably did everything that post said.

MaverickDago wrote:

I'm talking about the militias hunting black folk. I'll give you that the NOPD was corrupt and probably did everything that post said.

I read FSeven's comment as a dark prediction, not a quote from a news story. Your response is over the top.

If you ever wonder why people from the ghetto are afraid of the police just take a look at that thread. I grew up next to a sall apartment building that was a drug house and over the course of one summer I decided to write down the license plates of cars I saw there. The police would make regular visits, especially the gang units we called "The Big 4" because it was always 4 big dudes in a huge Ford. They'd beat the sh*t out of people with phonebooks and worse pretty much right under my bedroom window since there was an alley between my house and the drug complex.

Most Americans have implicit trust for the police. They believe the police to be acting in the best interest of society and trust the police to work within the boundaries of the law for the most part. For the majority of America this is true but when it comes to the ghetto that is a dangerous assumption to make. If you get busted for possession are you going to get put in jail or are you going to get the sh*t beat out of you and robbed or are you going to get beat to death and tossed in a dumpster? The police aren't predictable in the ghetto. Some of that is corruption and some of it is fear. Police get scared too.

The police are just humans. When they are surrounded by corruption often the only option is to become corrupt or face blacklisting which could have deadly complications.

So if you wonder why people are scared of the police keep in mind that your idea of police and the reality of police in a particular area are two separate things.

TheArtOfScience wrote:

Most Americans have implicit trust for the police. They believe the police to be acting in the best interest of society and trust the police to work within the boundaries of the law for the most part. For the majority of America this is true but when it comes to the ghetto that is a dangerous assumption to make. If you get busted for possession are you going to get put in jail or are you going to get the sh*t beat out of you and robbed or are you going to get beat to death and tossed in a dumpster? The police aren't predictable in the ghetto. Some of that is corruption and some of it is fear. Police get scared too.

The police are just humans. When they are surrounded by corruption often the only option is to become corrupt or face blacklisting which could have deadly complications.

So if you wonder why people are scared of the police keep in mind that your idea of police and the reality of police in a particular area are two separate things.

I really like police officers. When I was an RA in university I worked with them on a regular basis. I know we have some cops and ex-cops at GWJ, including some in my state so I won't go bashing them too hard.

That said, the only time I will really "trust" a cop is when I need their help. TAOS is right in that we are taught since a very young age to trust them and try to help them but beyond that, it's never in one's best interests to talk to the police without immunity. Even the best of intentions can bite you in the ass and it can never help you.

Some police do join the force to protect and serve, and to make a positive impact on a community. Others do it because they get handcuffs and a gun and the freedom to make judgment calls.

I've known a bit of both. Most of my law enforcement officer friends are consummate professionals who joined for all the right reasons. I've also known cops that just joined because they were just straight psychopaths and liked the idea of beating the crap out of folks. The more interesting area is the place in between. I actually know some good cops that actually do enjoy putting a righteous beatdown on a deserving perp. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but part of me is glad they are on the "right side"... until they're not.

And my wife could never understand why I don't like going to New Orleans.

Oh, Louisiana. Every time Chicago tries to make a play for Most Corrupt Place in America and actually pulls close, you turn on the afterburners and do something to show why you're still #1. Stay classy, Louisiana.

Are you serious Dago? You STILL believe the whole "blacks shooting at helicopters" nonsense? Pretty much every news outlet that reported that in the midst of Katrina has long since apologized and corrected their report on the matter.

Here's your evidence of white militias hunting blacks and of the discovery that reports of blacks shooting helicopters was a lie and sensationalist reporting.

Just a little snippet Dago:

Herrington, Collins and Alexander's experience fits into a broader pattern of violence in which, evidence indicates, at least eleven people were shot. In each case the targets were African-American men, while the shooters, it appears, were all white.

The new information should reframe our understanding of the catastrophe. Immediately after the storm, the media portrayed African-Americans as looters and thugs--Mayor Ray Nagin, for example, told Oprah Winfrey that "hundreds of gang members" were marauding through the Superdome. Now it's clear that some of the most serious crimes committed during that time were the work of gun-toting white males.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r1X_...

I don't know why I'm linking this. It's not like you're going to read it. You never read anything that renders your beliefs null and void.

FSeven wrote:
I don't know why I'm linking this. It's not like you're going to read it. You never read anything that renders your beliefs null and void.

Because some of us are interested in what you have to say and where you've gotten your information, and because it's good form to cite your sources during a discussion, if possible.

FSeven wrote:
Here's your evidence of white militias hunting blacks

Thank you! I read that article back when it was first published online, and I've been trying to remember where it came from all morning. It's a great piece, really disturbing stuff.

Podunk wrote:
FSeven wrote:
Here's your evidence of white militias hunting blacks

Thank you! I read that article back when it was first published online, and I've been trying to remember where it came from all morning. It's a great piece, really disturbing stuff.

I think disturbing is an understatement. Every one of those 'militia' people should be in jail or worse.

If you've not seen it, Welcome to New Orleans is worth watching. Some of the vigilantes mentioned in the article are interviewed starting around the 5:50 mark. Really disturbing, and I can easily imagine something similar happening in my neighborhood.

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
Podunk wrote:
FSeven wrote:
Here's your evidence of white militias hunting blacks

Thank you! I read that article back when it was first published online, and I've been trying to remember where it came from all morning. It's a great piece, really disturbing stuff.

I think disturbing is an understatement. Every one of those 'militia' people should be in jail or worse.

Instead they'll just move West and hunt Mexicans.

Another guilty plea, by the by.

LobsterMobster wrote:
Dr.Ghastly wrote:
Podunk wrote:
FSeven wrote:
Here's your evidence of white militias hunting blacks

Thank you! I read that article back when it was first published online, and I've been trying to remember where it came from all morning. It's a great piece, really disturbing stuff.

I think disturbing is an understatement. Every one of those 'militia' people should be in jail or worse.

Instead they'll just move West and hunt Mexicans.

I just read the article - wow that is upsetting. How much do you want to bet Algiers Point has a lot of Teabaggers living there?

Former New Orleans officers sentenced in Katrina shootings

U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Englehardt handed down long sentences for four of the officers, ranging from 38 to 65 years in prison. The fifth, former Sgt. Arthur Kauffman -- who was not involved in the shootings, but was involved in an attempted cover-up -- received six years.

Hypatian wrote:
Former New Orleans officers sentenced in Katrina shootings

U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Englehardt handed down long sentences for four of the officers, ranging from 38 to 65 years in prison. The fifth, former Sgt. Arthur Kauffman -- who was not involved in the shootings, but was involved in an attempted cover-up -- received six years.

This can't be correct. Our current police state doctrine means that cops get to shoot people and not be held accountable.

Yes, one case of policemen being prosecuted shows that all the other prosecutions that didn't happen were clearly fictional.

Malor wrote:
Yes, one case of policemen being prosecuted shows that all the other prosecutions that didn't happen were clearly fictional.

One case, is that all you were able to find? You're clearly not putting enough effort in.

Ignoring the stories about former law enforcement officials who have been tried and convicted might be convenient and support your delusion but it doesn't make your police state claims more valid.

Ignoring the stories about the many police that are never convicted of anything after committing egregious, horrible crimes doesn't make your position correct, either.

Successful prosecutions of police are extremely rare. Even unsuccessful ones are are about as common as legs on snakes.

Isn't there a different thread for bickering about whether or not we live in a police state?

Hypatian wrote:
Former New Orleans officers sentenced in Katrina shootings

U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Englehardt handed down long sentences for four of the officers, ranging from 38 to 65 years in prison. The fifth, former Sgt. Arthur Kauffman -- who was not involved in the shootings, but was involved in an attempted cover-up -- received six years.

The judge in this case was also quite upset with the prosecution for handing out overly lenient plea bargains in exchange for testimony. You don't see judges calling prosecutors out on things like that too often.

Malor wrote:
Yes, one case of policemen being prosecuted shows that all the other prosecutions that didn't happen were clearly fictional.

To be fair, this same argument has been used to prove we are in a police state. Both sides accomplish nothing here.

Malor wrote:
Ignoring the stories about the many police that are never convicted of anything after committing egregious, horrible crimes doesn't make your position correct, either.

Successful prosecutions of police are extremely rare. Even unsuccessful ones are are about as common as legs on snakes.

It takes about 5 f*cking seconds to do a Google search of "police officer sentenced" and you get over 71,000 hits. That's not "accused", that's SENTENCED. I can name 4 or 5 such instances that have happened locally within the last year.

Your assertion that it's extremely rare is complete and utter bullsh*t and even the smallest amount of effort proves it.