Facing South

Second figure charged in post-Katrina police shootings

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By A.C. Thompson, ProPublica

A second former New Orleans Police Department officer has been charged in federal court
in connection with the Sept. 4, 2005 shootings on the Danziger Bridge.
Jeffrey Lehrmann, who left the NOPD to work for U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, was charged last month with concealing a crime,
according to court documents unsealed Tuesday and obtained by our
partners at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Late last year, ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and the Times-Picayune teamed up to examine a string of violent encounters between police and civilians that occurred in New Orleans during the week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

The bridge incident was particularly notorious. Police officers shot
six citizens, killing two. Lehrmann, tasked with investigating what
happened on the bridge, "participated in the creation of false reports"
and provided "false information to investigating agents," according to
the bill of information filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

As the Times-Picayune noted, Lehrmann also plays a central
role in another ongoing controversy: While working as an NOPD detective
he helped build the case against Michael Anderson, whose murder conviction was overturned recently when a judge found that prosecutors had failed to turn over key evidence to defense lawyers.

Last month, former NOPD Lt. Michael Lohman pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice in connection with the bridge shootings.

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