Danziger Bridge Case With the Jury!!
Before laying out my summation of the Danziger Bridge trial high points, I’d like to discuss the morale issue. The question is, whose morale? Everyone involved in the public humiliation of the NOPD has taken the big hit here. This is the worst! If there is anything left of the NOPD morale, they are not human. Besides for the huge Jim Lettin produced trial spectacles, there have been weekly small NOPD trials and disciplinary hearings involving not murder and conspiracy, but spousal & detail abuses, DUI, payroll fraud, et al. The next home grown Police Chief from NOLA, Marlon Defillo, had to resign before being asked to at a disciplinary hearing that occurred the very next day. I dare to say that a lot of NOLA citizens and ex patriots felt a major pang of civic disappointment, sort of like we felt when Oliver Thomas went corrupt for a very moderate sum.
How about the public, whose confidence in NOPD has to be shaken to its collective boots? It’s not good for the public to lose a big measure of confidence in the NOPD.. You think the local media has made out well? Dynamite story, after all. Their worst fears have become true, and the media HATES that most of all.
There is a huge silver lining here. While considering the big picture involving NOPD, are they good or bad, the key point being that it doesn’t really matter. As long as Sheriff Jim Letten is around, he’ll end up taking out the corrupt trying to take advantage or damage the general population. So behave your public best or worst. The public shouldn’t worry- Jim Letten is here!!
Letten is a Republican, having been appointed to the U.S. Attorney’s position by President George W. Bush. Nonetheless, when Republicans lost the Presidency to Democrat Barack Obama in 2008, many Democrats, including U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, took the unusual step of urging the new President to ignore partisan labels and reappoint Letten.
I am drawn to say- God Bless Jim Letten!! Take care of yourself, Jimmy, I’d like you around for a long time.
Danziger is one complex case. There are twenty five charges filed between the five defendants, all former NOPD Officers-Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen, Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman. They are accused in the shooting of six people after Hurricane Katrina, as well as the massive cover-up that allegedly followed. The jury heard five weeks of testimony from 63 witnesses. Sergeant Arthur Kaufman, who was not on the bridge, is charged only in the conspiracy.
Only one of the five defendants testified. The one who did performed well when questioned by his lawyer. In the afternoon, when the prosecutors took their turn, his testimony turned dark in a big hurry.
During the cross-examination, former New Orleans Police Officer Robert Faulcon admitted to shooting an unarmed man (Ronald Madison) in the back. It doesn’t get any more chilling than that!! Yes, it was just a few days after the levees broke and devastated NOLA, and the City that Care Forgot became a lot more lawless. Cops take an oath to Protect and Serve, and that shooting doesn’t fit the bill. Madison was mentally challenged, and had already been shot by NOPD during the incident.
While on the stand, Faulcon made a number of statements that showed who he was both before, during and after the Danziger incident. My heart goes out to the people that were hurt. …At that time, when I saw guns, I felt my actions were justified on what I saw in that split second.
Faulcon repeatedly said that within a split second of his arrival, he perceived a threat, believing the police were under siege. He stated that other cops continued to shoot though there was no apparent danger.
There’s a real smorgasbord of charges between the five defendants, and I predict that the conspiracy charges will stick like glue. Not all will be convicted of murder, though Faulcon probably will be for obvious reasons.
In the Glover case the jury was also given the option to pick manslaughter as a lesser included offense, but manslaughter is not on the table in the Danziger case.