A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, November 28, 2005

Snipers on the Danziger Bridge?

Even in the desperate days following hurricane Katrina, the news flash seemed particularly sensational. Police had encountered eight snipers on an overpass shooting at relief contractors. In the gun battle that followed, officers shot and killed five or six of the marauders. Had the people of New Orleans' 9th Ward gone mad? Were there people more intent on hindering rescue than being rescued? Or were these official stories of snipers shooting at relief workers just one more example of propaganda distributed to justify the police-state tactics and gun confiscations employed by local authorities? New evidence exposes these tales of woe to be as false as the reports of widespread police defections in the aftermath of the storm. (Those reports have since been found to be a cover-up of payroll padding in the city's employment records under Police Commisioner Edwin Compass' tenure.) Authorities say they are still trying to reconstruct what happened Sept. 4 on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans. One thing is almost certain. Civilians were not shooting.

A story in the Los Angeles Times appears to debunk the "sniper threat" accounts, quoting several citizens who claim to have been shot by police officers. The initial story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune declared that police "had caught eight snipers on the Danziger Bridge, shooting at relief contractors." They then shot to death five or six of the purported marauders in the ensuing gunfight. Later stories revised the account, reporting only two deaths and conflicting testimony as to who they were. Although not disclosed by police, one of the dead is a mentally retarded man, 40 year old Ronald Madison, who was merely seeking food and relief after the flood according to friends and family. Lance Madison, 49, said he and his brother Ronald Madison (deceased), were crossing the Danziger Bridge to reach the safety of a dental office owned by their brother Romell. Romell Madison is a dentist and a prominent community figure who has served on several state commissions, mostly involving healthcare. The Deceased Ronald MadisonHe said that his brothers, after being stranded for several days on the roof of Lance's apartment building in New Orleans East, were trying to reach his office on the Chef Menteur Highway. Romell confirms that to get there they had to cross the Danziger Bridge. "We ran for our lives," Lance told Chief Orleans Parish Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen, who presided at the preliminary hearing, where Lance Madison faced eight felony counts for the attempted murder of eight police officers.

The (L.A.) Times reporters also located Jose Holmes Jr., 19; recovering from critical wounds suffered in the shooting, claiming he was shot for no reason at all. Holmes displayed wounds to his arm, neck, chin and stomach. A colostomy bag now drains Holmes' bowels. His left forefinger and thumb are frozen. Doctors told him his hand sustained permanent nerve damage. Holmes states the final shot at him was delivered via an assault style rifle, and at point blank range, despite the fact that he was carrying no weapon himself. Other unarmed victims, Leonard Bartholomew, 44; his wife, Susan, 39; and daughter, Leisha, 17; were also shot by the police. Susan Bartholomew lost an arm to what the family believes was a point blank shotgun blast. The other unnamed dead citizen was a 19-year-old man and a friend of Jose Holmes Jr. "A lot of people were running past us with guns and robbing people in the hotel and stuff," said Jontae Holmes, 16, a niece of the Bartholomews. "Then the generators got messed up and the lights started going off. It was scary." Six days after the storm hit, Jontae said, her aunt and uncle crossed the bridge to retrieve a wallet they had left at home. Susan and Leonard Bartholomew hoped to catch a rescue boat to navigate the still-flooded streets, the teenager said. The Bartholomews' nephew, Jose Holmes Jr. came along, as did one of his friends, another 19-year-old, who planned to search for his missing mother. Several other family members remained at their motel room. Police said Jose Holmes and his friend were among a group of "at least four suspects" near the east end of the bridge who began shooting at officers. When police returned fire, they said, the shooters jumped over a concrete barrier to a pedestrian walkway along the north side of the span. The suspects continued firing from behind the barrier, the police claimed.

There were some terrible, unforgivable acts carried out in New Orleans before, during, and after hurricane Katrina. Not all of those acts were the acts of citizens. The worst looters and rapists were those who looted and raped the US Constitution. The investigation of the NOPD's performance throughout the crisis is ongoing. It was nice of them to be so quick to claim credit for these deaths. It will be difficult to shift the blame.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

(Those reports have since been found to be a cover-up of payroll padding in the city's employment records under Police Commisioner Edwin Compass' tenure.)

Can you cite a source for this? I've only heard rumors so far.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FBI began investigating the New Orleans police who had abandoned their post, and of the more than 500 screened so far, 84% don't exist.
Of the 1700 police working for New Orleans, maybe only 1000 really exist.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous MarkF said...

Well, at least one did abandon his post - he was arrested in Dallas, driving a truck stolen from a New Orleans dealership, still had his issue weapon and badge.
If there were no snipers... well, whats' the saying? Politician, lamp-post, rope - some assembly required. Same could be said for 'police' who shoot unarmed civilians.
Give them a speedy trial, and a speedy hanging.
Compass, the commissioner - well, hope he has been advised not to leave town. Between the corruption, the theft of relief supplies (several truckloads were discovered in his home), and the rampant failure of the NOPD, I really hope that his 'resignation' is not the end of his troubles.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Compass, the commissioner - well, hope he has been advised not to leave town. Between the corruption, the theft of relief supplies (several truckloads were discovered in his home), and the rampant failure of the NOPD, I really hope that his 'resignation' is not the end of his troubles.

I really want to blog about this, but I need a news article to link to. I don't want to blog something that's a rumor unless I label it RUMOR

Well, at least one did abandon his post - he was arrested in Dallas, driving a truck stolen from a New Orleans dealership, still had his issue weapon and badge.

Yea, I think I can google up this, I'm pretty sure I've read it before.

The FBI began investigating the New Orleans police who had abandoned their post, and of the more than 500 screened so far, 84% don't exist. Of the 1700 police working for New Orleans, maybe only 1000 really exist.

Yea, I'm pretty sure there's a steaming pile of excrement around that all needs exposing, and although there is bits and pieces being covered by the mainstream media, there is not an all en”compass”ing (heh) expose out there. I'm not trying to bust your chomps, but I just can't credit an anonymous comment as a source. I'm already blogging anonymous myself, my only credibility comes from my previous blog posts.

I've got a news article quoting compass about seizing the guns.

I've got court papers with Compass claiming he never ordered the seizing of guns

I've got video of Guard troops squatting on private property (3rd Amendment violation)

We've all seen reporter Ken Wayne's police body-slamming Patrica Konie video, but almost no one talks about the curious editing cut in it. AFAIK, Patrica hasn't stepped forth, but it's possible she just doesn't feel like being a public person. AFAIK, also, that CHiP pig that did the slamming has never been publicly identified, I'd like to know when his trial date is.

I also have a news link about the National Guard stating that they were no longer forcing people to evacuate. They more than likely did seize guns, because that seems to be the method of choice for forcing people to leave, but they ain't talking, and nether is anyone else.

Like I've said (and blogged) before, The MSN ain't doing their job, (remember the CBS memos? They are still stuck in the “We Define Reality” mode) and the NRA needs to be chided into doing their job, so it's up to us to do the dirty digging. But that's OK, I'm up for that task.

My email is "null" at [my blog url]

12:30 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Eddie is still in Nawlins. He got a job in hotel security. I'm preparing a quick item on it.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Leonard Bartholomew said...

I am hoping that this article does not refer to the Leonard Bartholomew and Susan Bartholomew that live in North Carolina, alive and well, and with all appendages intact?

What a coincidence!

http://www.moxie-drive.com

6:19 PM  

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