June 28, 2011
Five New Orleans police officers indiscriminately shot unarmed residents during the chaos unleashed by Hurricane Katrina and got colleagues to help cover up the crime, prosecutors said Monday.
“Shoot first, and ask questions later,” federal prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein said during opening arguments of a high-profile trial of the officers.
“That’s how this whole case got started.”
Bernstein described a “seemingly endless barrage of gunshots” that left two people dead and four badly wounded and a wide-ranging conspiracy that lasted almost four years.
The deadly 2005 shooting on the Danziger Bridge came to epitomize the city’s failure to protect its citizens and exposed deep-rooted corruption in the police department, which critics say remains unaddressed.