August 8, 2010
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has uncovered evidence that police officers physically attacked two city residents and a working photojournalist on Sept. 1, 2005, three days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
The story helps explain a mysterious scene we reported about last December in a joint project with the Times-Picayune and PBS’ FRONTLINE, one of a series of reports documenting violent encounters between citizens and officers of New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of Katrina.
So far this year, federal prosecutors have charged 16 current and former NOPD officers with crimes allegedly committed after the levees failed. Two others have been indicted for allegedly killing a man just before the catastrophe.
The latest news centers on a violent encounter that occurred on Religious Street, not far from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Responding to a shooting incident, officers severely beat two handcuffed men they suspected of firing at police, leaving one of the men missing numerous teeth, reports Times-Picayune city editor Gordon Russell.
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