Judge finds ‘grotesque’ prosecutorial misconduct in Danziger Bridge shootings case
Judge Kurt Engelhardt’s decision overturning the convictions of five New Orleans police officers for their roles in the Danziger Bridge shootings runs to 129 pages. Page by page, the decision addresses claims of prosecutorial misconduct, and it is as if, page by page, the judge’s anger and disbelief only grow.
He finds ample misconduct, and terms it “grotesque.” He uncovers other damning material, and professes “shock and dismay.” In the end, he closes with a distinct sense of foreboding: The worst may be yet to come.
“One can only wonder what other unanticipated revelations might be in store,” he writes.
Engelhardt’s central finding was that federal prosecutors, during the trial of the officers for the shooting of unarmed civilians days after Hurricane Katrina, had posted anonymous comments on the website of the local newspaper, the Times Picayune.
Here’s how Engelhardt characterized those comments: “inflammatory invectives,” “accusatory screeds,” “vitriolic condemnations,” all of them directed at “the defendants, their attorneys, their witnesses, their evidence.”
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