Jeffrey Lehrmann, a former police detective for the New Orleans Police Dept pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge that he failed to report a cover-up in the investigation of the Danziger Bridge shootings in New Orleans, the Department of Justice said in a statement Thursday, March 11, 2010.
Lehrmann also admitted he helped compile a false report on the incidents, and was with others when they planted a gun as part of the cover-up, according to court documents.
Last month, former police Lt. Michael Lohman pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the cover-up.
Two civilians were killed and four others wounded in the shootings on September 4, 2005, six days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.
The incident on the morning of Sept. 4, 2005, occurred on the Danziger Bridge, which crosses the Industrial Canal in eastern New Orleans. Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, was shot to death outside a motel on the Gentilly side of the bridge.
James Brissette, 19, was killed on the eastern side of the bridge, while four people walking with him with were seriously wounded. Susan Bartholomew lost part of her arm in the shooting and her husband, Leonard Bartholomew III, was shot in the head. Their daughter, Leisha Bartholomew and a nephew, Jose Holmes, suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Leonard Bartholomew IV, a teenage son, was uninjured.
The police claim they were being shot at, although there was no evidence to prove that claim except a gun that was later determined to be planted by the police.
One of the suspects, Lance Madison, was arrested and charged with eight counts of attempted murder against police officers.
"I didn't do anything wrong, and I had no reason to be arrested. I was up here trying to seek help for me and my little brother, trying to evacuate from the devastation going on down here," says Madison, a 49-year-old former college wide receiver, standing at the foot of the bridge where the incident occurred.
Madison, a 25-year employee of Federal Express, has no criminal record and is a member of a respected New Orleans family.
The man he was with -- referred to by the police as "the unidentified gunman" -- was his brother, 40-year-old Ronald, who had mental retardation. His family describes him as a childlike soul who loved the family's two dachshunds and watched Three Stooges videos.
Lance says that on that Sunday morning, he and Ronald -- their homes flooded -- were crossing the bridge on their way to another brother's dental office where they were staying after the storm.
Not only did the police fail to help citizens in need, they brutalized them. They terrorized them, shooting and killing without cause and without warning.
It should not go unnoticed that the police were white and the victims were black. Nor should it go unnoticed that the victims were poor and fleeing for safety to a higher class neighborhood.
It should also not go unnoticed that there was little corporate media coverage of this story. I guess there were already too many stories of white police killing innocent black citizens. Damn liberal media.