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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

7 cops indicted in post-Katrina shootings

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW ORLEANS Seven police officers were indicted today on murder or attempted murder charges in a pair of shootings on a bridge that left two people dead during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The shootings took place under murky circumstances six days after the storm and became one of the most widely cited examples of the anarchy that descended after Katrina.

Two young men were killed and four people wounded on the Danziger Bridge, which spans the Industrial Canal.

At the time, the sweltering city was still littered with corpses as rescuers tried to evacuate stranded residents and looters ransacked stores.

Police initially said the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings occurred after shots were fired at Army Corps of Engineers workers.

According to a police report, several officers responded to a radio call that two fellow officers had been hurt. When they arrived, seven people were seen running, and four began firing at police, the report said. The officers returned fire.

The victims were Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally retarded man, and James Barsett, 19. The coroner said Madison was shot seven times, with five wounds in the back.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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