Monday, October 10

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Police Abuse Charges Swirl in New Orleans


New Orleans Police Beating Caught on Tape

NEW ORLEANS -- At least one police officer repeatedly punched a 64-year-old man accused of public intoxication, and another officer assaulted an Associated Press Television News producer as a cameraman taped the confrontations.

There will be a criminal investigation, and three New Orleans Police Department officers will be suspended Sunday, arrested and charged with simple battery, Capt. Marlon Defillo said.

"We have great concern with what we saw this morning," Defillo said after he and about a dozen other high-ranking police department officials watched the APTN footage Sunday. "It's a troubling tape, no doubt about it. ... This department will take immediate action."

The assaults come as the department, long plagued by allegations of brutality and corruption, struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the resignation last month of Police Superintendent Eddie Compass.

The APTN tape shows an officer hitting the man at least four times in the head Saturday night as he stood outside a bar. The suspect, Robert Davis, appeared to resist, twisting and flailing as he was dragged to the ground by four officers. Another officer then kneed Davis and punched him twice. Davis was face-down on the sidewalk with blood streaming down his arm and into the gutter.

Meanwhile, an officer ordered APTN producer Rich Matthews and the cameraman to stop recording. When Matthews held up his credentials and explained he was working, the officer grabbed the producer, leaned him backward over a car, jabbed him in the stomach and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade.

...

Many officers deserted their posts in the days after Katrina, and some were accused of joining in the looting that broke out. At least two committed suicide.

...

Compass, the police superintendent, resigned Sept. 27. Despite more than 10 years of reform efforts dating to before he took office, police were dogged by allegations of brutality and corruption.

On Friday, state authorities said they were investigating allegations that New Orleans police broke into a dealership and made off with nearly 200 cars - including 41 new Cadillacs - as the storm closed in.



Ah yes, New Orleans finest on display for all the world to see. These cops have been getting away with this crap for so long they think they can still do "business as usual." Only thing is, they are in the spotlight and not back alleys.

New Orleans has had a long standing reputation for corruption in its public officials - politicians and PD. The whole city needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, and I'm not just talking about the homes and businesses.

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