New Orleans police officer guilty of perjury

Dec. 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A New Orleans police officer was convicted Friday of lying about the circumstances in which he shot a man a few days after Hurricane Katrina.

Ronald Mitchell faces a federal prison term for perjury and obstruction of justice, The Times-Picayune reported. Sentencing is scheduled for March.

Mitchell's partner, Ray Jones, was acquitted of similar charges. Jurors began deliberations Thursday and discussed the case for about 8 hours, announcing at one point that they were deadlocked on two counts, before quitting for the night.

Neither officer was charged with killing Danny Brumfield Sr. Mitchell shot him while Jones was driving the officers' squad car.

The charges involved depositions given in a lawsuit filed by Brumfield's widow. She eventually received a $400,000 settlement.

The shooting occurred outside the Ernest Morial Convention Center, which had become a shelter for people displaced by Katrina. Mitchell said Brumfield jumped on the hood of their squad car with such force he broke the windshield. He also said he got out and checked to see if Brumfield was dead.

Other witnesses disputed his account of the shooting and said the two officers drove off immediately.

Fifteen New Orleans police officers have been convicted of charges involving the chaotic days after the hurricane struck in August 2005. Ten were involved in the shooting of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge.

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