Long held suspicions of foul play have been confirmed as former New Orleans cop, Michael Hunter, confessed to his part in the post-Katrina Danziger Bridge murders. Hunter pleaded guilty to covering up the mass violence and homicide that occurred less than a week after the devastating storm of 2005.
According to The Huffington Post, a court filing of Hunter’s account contradicts a previous police report that claimed civilian fire prompted the police to retaliate, killing two and wounding four other people in his process. However, upon seeing no threat to officers, Hunter admits to having shouted “Cease fire!” after an unidentified sergeant open his assault rifle on a group of unarmed civilians hiding behind a concrete barrier on the bridge.
Once the firing ceased, Hunter recounts that he saw several civilians who appeared to be unarmed, wounded and immobile. He reported that, “(The sergeant) suddenly leaned over the concrete barrier, held out his assault rifle, and, in a sweeping motion, fired repeatedly at the civilians lying wounded on the ground. The civilians were not trying to escape and were not doing anything that could be perceived as a threat.”
The Huffington Post reports that moments later, Hunter admits seeing two men later identified as Lance Madison and his 40-year-old mentally disabled brother, Ronald, running away near the bottom of the bridge. Hunter’s statement said an unidentified officer shot Ronald Madison in the back with a shotgun.
“As Ronald Madison lay dying on the pavement, (the sergeant) ran down the bridge toward Ronald and asked an officer if Ronald was ‘one of them.’ When the officer replied in the affirmative, (the sergeant) began kicking or stomping Ronald Madison repeatedly with his foot.” The end result, Ronald Madison and James Brissette were killed in cold blood by the police.
Former officer Hunter now faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison following his guilty plea, with sentencing scheduled for June 30. In addition, Former Lt. Michael Lohmann and Jeffrey Lehrmann, a former detective, have pleaded guilty, revealing their part in the cover up which included a planted gun, phony witnesses and falsified reports.