NEW ORLEANS, July 13 (UPI) -- A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted six New Orleans police officers in the deadly Danziger Bridge shootings following 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
Officers Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso are charged in two shootings that left two people dead and four others wounded. They, along with supervisors Arthur "Archie" Kaufman and Gerard Dugue, also are charged with helping to obstruct justice during investigations into the shootings.
Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso are accused of shooting at an unarmed family on the east side of the bridge, killing 17-year-old James Brissette, and wounding Susan Bartholomew, 38; Leonard Bartholomew III, 44; the Bartholomew's daughter, Lesha, 17; and the Bartholomew's nephew, Jose Holmes, 19. The Bartholomews' 14-year-old son escaped uninjured.
In a second shooting shortly after on the west side of the bridge, officers allegedly shot at brothers Lance and Ronald Madison, killing Ronald, a 40-year-old man with severe mental disabilities. The indictment alleges Faulcon shot Ronald Madison in the back as he fled. Bowen is charged with stomping and kicking Ronald Madison who was wounded but had not yet died.
"As our investigation of the Danziger Bridge incident shows, the Justice Department will vigorously pursue anyone who allegedly violated the law," U.S. Attorney General Holder said in a release. "Put simply, we will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who have sworn to protect the public."
Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso were part of the so-called Danziger 7 indicted by a state grand jury in December 2006 on murder and attempted murder charges. That case was eventually dismissed but federal authorities moved ahead with their investigation that produced Tuesday's indictments.
Five other former officers, Michael Hunter, Robert Barrios, Ignatius Hills, Michael Lohman and Jeffrey Lehrmann, have pleaded guilty in the incident, as well.