Posts tagged Katrina

TRENDING: Ron Paul: We don’t need FEMA



As Hurricane Irene barrels along the U.S. East Coast, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said the nation would be much better off without the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time,” the GOP presidential candidate told CNN after a New Hampshire campaign event Friday. “There’s no magic about FEMA. More and more people are starting to recognize that.”

Paul has long been a critic of the agency, which he calls a “great contributor to deficit financing.”

With more than 7,600 employees, FEMA falls under the Department of Homeland Security and coordinates response efforts when disasters strike.

Citing the Galveston hurricane in 1900 that obliterated much of the Texas coast, the libertarian-leaning congressman said Americans were able to rebuild their cities and put up a seawall without the federal government’s help.

“FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas,” Paul said. “All they do is come in and tell you what to do and can’t do. You can’t get in your houses. And they hinder the local people, and they hinder volunteers from going in.”

After Hurricane Ike demolished parts of the Texas coast in 2008, Paul voted against a bill that would funnel billions in aid to the area, which covers his congressional district.

FEMA has since pumped more than $3 billion in federal funds into the state.

The agency received wide criticism in 2005 for failing to respond in a timely, organized manner to the vast destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Jury reaches verdict in trial of 5 police officers charged in post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings w/ follow-up



Verdicts in post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shooting case are imminent

The jury in the high-stakes Danziger Bridge case has indicated to U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt that it has reached a verdict. Lawyers for both sides have been directed to return to the courtroom.

Alex Brandon, Times-Picayune archiveLance Madison was arrested Sept. 4, 2005, after the police shootings on the Danziger Bridge. Two people died and four others were wounded.

Stay with for the verdicts as they are read.

Five current or former New Orleans police officers were tried in the shootings, which occurred a week after Hurricane Katrina. Police shot six people, killing two and badly injuring four. The jury considered 25 counts, some of which contain charges against several officers.

The trial began June 22 and lasted six weeks. In that time, the jury of seven men and five women heard testimony from about 60 witnesses.

Four of the officers on trial — Sgts. Ken Bowen and Robert Gisevius, and former officers Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon — acknowledged taking part in the shootings on Sept. 4, 2005. The officers were responding to a distress call from a fellow officer, and they maintained they were either taking fire on the bridge, or had good reason to believe they were under fire. Prosecutors portrayed the shootings as an act of murder.

The fifth officer on trial, retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, was accused of helping to oversee a massive cover-up of the events on the bridge, one that persisted for years. Kaufman planted a gun in the case’s evidence file, according to testimony in the trial, and prosecutors said he made up two witnesses who he then quoted saying the shootings were justified.

Here is the verdict form the jury must fill out.

As a follow up:

Danziger Bridge jury form details charges against 5 guilty NOPD officers

Five New Orleans police officers have been convicted in the deaths of two people and the injuring of four others on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

This is the form the jurors had to complete, listing 25 counts.


Count 1

Deprivation of James Brissette’s civil rights

Kenneth Bowen: Guilty


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