Shots on the bridge Police violence and cover-up in the wake of Katrina

Ronnie Greene

Book - 2015

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Subjects
Published
Boston: Beacon Press [2015]
Language
English
Physical Description
xvi, 240 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 212-232) and index.
ISBN
9780807033500
0807033502
Main Author
Ronnie Greene (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

This book describes the legacy of Hurricane Katrina as manifested via an unresolved police shooting six days after the disaster. The tragic encounter began when a group of stressed officers were summoned to the Danziger Bridge area based on a report of shots fired there. This incident resulted in the deaths of two citizens and multiple injuries to unarmed persons seeking shelter and supplies. Greene (Night Fire), a prize-winning Associated Press journalist, explains how police culture and political influence resulted in an initial justification of the action. Subsequent federal government involvement to amend the travesty is covered along with the legal outcome to date, which could be described as "justice denied." Greene concludes with research notes outlining the impressive depth of background materials. Details concerning the human factors involved and the extent of the chaos, strain, and devastation caused by Katrina will engage readers. The title ends rather abruptly, but an epilog is promised. VERDICT Though set in an extreme environment, this engrossing tale is shockingly reminiscent of more recent examples of police misconduct and should appeal to civic-minded readers in New Orleans and elsewhere.—Antoinette Brinkman, formerly with Southwest Indiana Mental Health Ctr. Lib., Evansville [Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A gripping tale of police brutality, investigating the cover-up of a deadly NOLA cops' shooting of six unarmed civilians, published on the tenth anniversary of Katrina. Six days after Hurricane Katrina's landfall in New Orleans, New Orleans Police Department officers opened fire on residents crossing the Danziger Bridge. When the shooting stopped, a mentally challenged man and a seventeen-year-old boy were dead, riddled with gunshot wounds. A mother's arm was shot off, her daughter's stomach gouged with a bullet hole, and her husband's head pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand. All six of the victims, along with two others arrested at the scene, were black and unarmed. Before the blood dried, the shooters and their supervisors had hatched a cover-up. They would plant a gun, invent witnesses, and charge two of their victims with attempted murder. The NOPD hailed all the shooters on the bridge as heroes. Shots on the Bridge explores one of the most dramatic casesof injustice in the last decade. It reveals the fear that gripped the police of a city fallen into anarchy, the circumstances that led desperate survivors to go to the bridge, and the horror that erupted with the gunfire. It dissects the cover-up that nearly buried the truth and the legal maze that, a decade later, leaves the victims still searching for justice"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A true story of police brutality investigates the cover-up of a deadly New Orleans Police Department cops' shooting of six unarmed African-American citizens as they were crossing the Danzinger Bridge six days after the hurricane's landfall.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Published to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a shocking true story of police brutality investigates the cover-up of a deadly New Orleans Police Department cops' shooting of six unarmed African-American citizens as they were crossing the Danzinger Bridge six days after the hurricane's landfall.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A harrowing story of blue on black violence, of black lives that seemingly did not matter.On September 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, two groups of people intersected on the Danziger Bridge, a low-rising expanse over the Industrial Canal. One was the police who had stayed behind as Katrina roared near, desperate to maintain control as their city spun into chaos. The other was the residents forced to stay behind with them during the storm and, on that fateful Sunday, searching for the basics of survival: food, medicine, security. They collided that morning in a frenzy of gunfire.When the shooting stopped, a gentle forty-year-old man with the mind of a child lay slumped on the ground, seven bullet wounds in his back, his white shirt turned red. A seventeen-year-old was riddled with gunfire from his heel to his head. A mother’s arm was blown off; her daughter’s stomach gouged by a bullet. Her husband’s head was pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand.  Like all the other victims, he was black—and unarmed.Before the blood had dried on the pavement, the shooters, each a member of the New Orleans Police Department, and their supervisors hatched a cover-up. They planted a gun, invented witnesses, and charged two of their victims with attempted murder. At the NOPD, they were hailed as heroes. Shots on the Bridge explores one of the most dramatic cases of police violence seen in our country in the last decade—the massacre of innocent people, carried out by members of the NOPD, in the brutal, disorderly days following Hurricane Katrina. It reveals the fear that gripped the police of a city slid into anarchy, the circumstances that drove desperate survivors to the bridge, and the horror that erupted when the police opened fire. It carefully unearths  the cover-up that nearly buried the truth.  And finally, it traces the legal maze that, a decade later, leaves the victims and their loved ones still searching for justice. This is the story of how the people meant to protect and serve citizens can do violence, hide their tracks, and work the legal system as the nation awaits justice.Named one of the top books of 2015 by NewsOne Now, and named one of the best books of August 2015 by AppleWinner of the 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award