A federal court in New Orleans is preparing for one of the largest and most complex environmental lawsuits ever to come to court. It stems from the worst oil disaster in U.S. history: the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig nearly two years ago and the resulting oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
Testimony is scheduled to begin at the end of the month. The case combines more than 500 lawsuits in one proceeding designed to determine who's responsible for what went wrong.
On Aug. 5, a federal jury handed down one of the most sweeping verdicts in the modern history of American police brutality cases. Five New Orleans police officers were convicted of various roles in gunning down civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina, and then covering it up. Five other officers pleaded guilty.
The Danziger Bridge case, as it's called, adds momentum to a reform effort already under way. The Department of Justice says it's committed to cleaning up the New Orleans Police Department, once and for all.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:27 pm
A federal jury found five former New Orleans police officers guilty of civil rights violations in connection to the shooting deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans. The shootings took place during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The AP reports:
"All five officers were convicted Friday of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. The four who had been charged with civil rights violations in the shootings were convicted on all counts.
"However, the jury decided that neither fatal shooting was a murder.
Nearly six years later, the real story of what happened on the Danziger Bridge may finally come out.
On Wednesday, the biggest policeabuse case in the modern history of the New Orleans Police Department gets under way. Federal prosecutors allege police officers shot and killed two unarmed civilians fleeing the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina and maimed four others. Afterward, prosecutors claim, the police engaged in an elaborate cover-up to make it look like self-defense.