NOPD’s Danziger Bridge Investigator Told Feds a Story Full of Baloney, FBI Testifies
Most NOPD are honest, hard working, moral Officers with the Public Safety in mind. Obviously, the reason I say this is the bad press our police have received since Jim Letten became Attorney General. The degree of coverup by NOPD exposed by the Danziger trial is mind bending. Depraved is the word that comes to mind. If a NOPD Investigator tells the Feds lies after lies after lies, that is discouraging.
Special Agent Kelly Bryson said accused NOPD Sgt. Arthur Kaufman’s version of events was odd, and at times contradicted the department’s own reports on the incident.
“There were some very specific areas that just didn’t make sense to me,” Bryson said Tuesday in federal court.
The purpose of the January 2009 meeting with Kaufman was “to lay the groundwork” and explain what he had done on the case, Bryson said. Four FBI agents and three attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice attended the meeting. The tone was conversational, Bryson said.
At this early stage in the federal probe, Bryson said, she thought the scope of the investigation would center on the police use of force in the incident, in which two people were killed and four others wounded by police gunfire.
By the end of Kaufman’s interview, Bryson thought the federal probe should also examine the NOPD’s own investigation into the matter.
Bryson, the former head of the civil rights squad in the FBI’s New Orleans division, testified throughout the morning Tuesday in the high-stakes federal civil rights trial. Nearly all of her testimony centered on Kaufman, the NOPD’s lead investigator on the case, who is charged with supervising a whitewash of the NOPD’s own probe. Four additional current or former officers are charged with shooting civilians on the bridge on Sept. 4, 2005, and playing parts in a cover-up.
Kaufman’s attorney, Stephen London, argued that Bryson and the FBI were unfairly playing armchair quarterback and second-guessing an NOPD investigation that occurred amid a major disaster. He portrayed the FBI as an agency with limitless funds and investigative tools, completely unlike the city’s police force.