FBI looks at cases involving New Orleans Police Department officers

10Jun09

Police B&Woriginally published: 2nd June 2009

The FBI is looking into at least three cases involving New Orleans police officers, a fact pointed out last week in a Fraternal Order of Police e-mail reminding officers of their right to consult attorneys before they are interviewed by agents.

Two of the cases stem from the days following Hurricane Katrina, including a recently begun FBI probe into possible police involvement in the case of a charred body found inside a burned car on an Algiers levee. The FBI is looking into whether police committed a civil rights violation against the 31-year-old man whose remains were pulled out of the car in the weeks after the storm.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division last year also picked up the investigation of an incident on the Danziger bridge after Katrina. A Criminal District Court judge tossed state charges against seven indicted police officers accused of participating in a shooting on the bridge that left two men dead.

The Orleans Parish district attorney’s office asked the federal government to take over that case, noting that problems with prosecutors’ handling of the case were responsible for the case being thrown out.

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