Police officers who killed two unarmed civilians and shot four others at New Orleans’ Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina “were a lawless gang,” editorializes the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Former Police Lt. Michael Lohman pleaded guilty yesterday to his role in an elaborate cover-up of the police shootings Sept. 4, 2005. The newspaper says Lohman “pened a door into a sickening side of the New Orleans Police Department,” implicating several officers and supervisors in criminal activity.
In a news story, the Times-Picayune says that Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu is “casting the net far and wide” to find a new police chief and likely will choose someone from outside the city. He has asked advice from New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, former New York and Los Angeles Chief William Bratton, and ex-New Orleans and Atlanta Chief Richard Pennington. The Times-Picayune’s Brendan McCarthy says that with pending federal investiations into possible civil rights violations by police, criminal justice observers and cops agree that a local hire is a longshot.