Everyone remembers the tremendous amount of property damage Hurricane Katrina caused during the summer of 2005. But one thing that had gotten swept aside was the unjust police violence. More than a decade later, families of those killed and those injured by New Orleans police officers before the storm and after it passed are winning Lawsuit battles as the city of New Orleans pays a total amount of $13.3 million to resolve the disputes. Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu spoke in a press conference to apologize for the incidents.

Danziger Bridge

On the Danziger Bridge, police officers shot six people who didn’t have any weapons on them, killing two of them, and injuring four, six days after the storm. A CBS news article says that officers shot and killed 17-year-old James Brissette and a 40-year-old, mentally disabled man named Ronald Madison on the bridge. The officers planted a weapon after the shooting and utilized uninvolved witnesses to prevent getting blamed. Madison’s brother, Lance Madison was also walking on the bridge when the police shot and killed Ronald Madison. He was stuck behind bars for several days after being wrongfully accused of firing gunshots at the officers. The truth was revealed about the police violence after his release from jail.

After a federal judge dismissed the court case against five officers convicted in the bridge shootings in 2013, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt discovered that government attorneys wrote questionable, disturbing responses on an online site for a New Orleans publication, which influenced the judge to bring proper closure to the incidents.

As the case resurfaced, the five officers admitted to the bridge shooting in April. One of the officers was ordered to six years in jail for not divulging what he knew of the incident.


In another occurrence that happened before the storm hit, training officer Melvin Williams kicked and beat Raymond Robair, who was in his late 40s, with his baton until he was lifeless, but told a doctor that a drug overdose was the cause of Robair’s death.

Williams has been given 21+ years in prison. His trainee at the time, received 5+years for giving an untrue account about what happened, to the FBI.

A third instance of police violence occurred at a shopping center after the hurricane. An officer working as security repeatedly shot and killed Henry Glover, 31. 20 officers in all were examined in civil rights investigations conducted over crimes that happened after Hurricane Katrina.