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New Orleans cops challenge ballistics

July 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM

NEW ORLEANS, July 19 (UPI) -- A New Orleans police sergeant's lawyer challenged an FBI investigator's ballistics analysis of the Danziger Bridge shooting scene Tuesday.

Eric Hessler, attorney for Sgt. Robert Gisevius, questioned the FBI's evidence collection and suggested it discounted clues that someone might have fired on police Sept. 4, 2005, during the chaos following Hurricane Katrina, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

FBI agent William Bezak previously told the jury the bureau shut down the bridge for a day in 2009 and found bullet holes along the concrete walkway barrier and a metal railing. He said the rail markings indicate the shots came from the south or southeast -- from behind the civilians and near the officers' position.

Hessler keyed on one impact point as evidence a gunman was firing from beneath and beside the bridge, on the opposite side of the wounded civilians.

But Bezak replied: "I have no reason to believe that bullets were fired from that grassy area."

Hessler also attacked the credibility of prosecution witnesses, including former police conspirators who have pleaded guilty and testified against Gisevius and his four co-defendants.

The prosecution is near the end of presenting its case.

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