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Jury seated for New Orleans cops' trial

Dec. 5, 2011 at 5:24 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A federal jury was picked Monday for the perjury trial of two New Orleans police officers accused of lying to cover up a post-Hurricane Katrina shooting death.

Officers Ronald Mitchell and Ray Jones are charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly not telling the truth when answering questions in a civil lawsuit arising from the shooting death of 45-year-old Danny Brumfield Sr. outside a convention center in the days after the 2005 hurricane, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance, the newspaper said.

The two officers say Mitchell shot Brumfield after the man lunged at the officer with a pair of scissors. Prosecutors contend the officers lied about the circumstances to cover up the fact Brumfield was shot in the back.

The trial is the last of four criminal cases alleging New Orleans police misconduct. Fourteen officers have been convicted, two have been acquitted and one who was found guilty has been awarded a new trial.

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