FBI agent doubted New Orleans cop's story

July 12, 2011 at 5:10 PM   |   Comments

NEW ORLEANS, July 12 (UPI) -- The chief New Orleans Police investigator in the 2005 Danziger Bridge shootings gave a questionable account, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.

Special Agent Kelly Bryson said Sgt. Arthur Kaufman -- one of five police defendants accused of covering up the killings -- met voluntarily with federal agents in 2009 to give his version of the incident, but "there were some very specific areas that just didn't make sense to me."

Bryson said she expected the FBI to focus on police use of force, but Kaufman's statements convinced her the police investigation itself should be a target.

Two people were killed and four wounded by police gunfire on the bridge Sept. 4, 2005, as the city reeled from Hurricane Katrina.

Bryson, who headed the civil rights squad in the FBI's New Orleans division, said Kaufman described a supposed eyewitness, Lakeisha Smith, so completely, "you could almost see her in front of you."

Prosecutors say Smith does not exist, and other officers say Kaufman invented her.

Kaufman's lawyer, Stephen London, said Bryson and the FBI were unfairly second-guessing an investigation amid a disaster years after the fact.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
Who is the 'Woman in Black' roaming U.S. highways?
Oklahoma shook by three earthquakes in less than 48 hours
Army receives first advanced CH-47F helicopter variant
One cop issued 80 percent of the marijuana tickets in Seattle this year
Comic-Con cosplayer sexually assaulted, beaten and left in gutter
Trending News