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Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-up in the Wake of Katrina

Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-up in the Wake of Katrina

Scritto da Ronnie Greene

Narrato da Jonathan Yen


Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-up in the Wake of Katrina

Scritto da Ronnie Greene

Narrato da Jonathan Yen

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (11 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Aug 18, 2015
ISBN:
9781494584375
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Six days after Hurricane Katrina's landfall in New Orleans, New Orleans Police Department officers opened fire on residents crossing the Danziger Bridge. When the shooting stopped, a mentally challenged man and a seventeen-year-old boy were dead, riddled with gunshot wounds. A mother's arm was shot off, her daughter's stomach gouged with a bullet hole, and her husband's head pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand. All six of the victims, along with two others arrested at the scene, were black and unarmed. Before the blood dried, the shooters and their supervisors had hatched a cover-up. They would plant a gun, invent witnesses, and charge two of their victims with attempted murder. The NOPD hailed all the shooters on the bridge as heroes.


Shots on the Bridge explores one of the most dramatic cases of injustice in the last decade. It reveals the fear that gripped the police of a city fallen into anarchy, the circumstances that led desperate survivors to go to the bridge, and the horror that erupted with the gunfire. It dissects the cover-up that nearly buried the truth and the legal maze that, a decade later, leaves the victims still searching for justice.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Aug 18, 2015
ISBN:
9781494584375
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Ronnie Greene is a prizewinning investigative journalist with The Miami Herald, where he has exposed exploitation of laborers in Florida's farm fields, corruption at Miami's airport, and deadly conditions in the U.S. air cargo industry. Greene teaches journalism at the University of Miami, and he lives in South Florida with his wife and two daughters. Night Fire is his first book.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina is an account of a shooting by the New Orleans Police of unarmed African American citizens on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans days after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I found this book by Ronnie Green as a wake up call of what can happen with miscommunication and an underlying fear of the unknown. The unknown of the situation as is shown by the NOPD feeling as if they were under siege by the crises of mother nature and the citizens of New Orleans. The author makes great strides to humanize the victims of the shooting, making them known to us, the reader, when they were unknown to the NOPD and were assumed to be thugs and looters out to cause harm to the community and the NOPD. The book traces the corruption of the NOPD historically and how that in itself created the culture of distrust by the NOPD of the African American citizens and the brutality faced by the African American citizens at the hands of the NOPD. This situation created a disaster in the making on that bridge and the over the top response of the NOPD to situation is problematic for the city and devastating to those victims on the bridge. What I found to be distasteful, was the cover-up and attempted prosecution of one of the victims as a shooter. The planting of evidence, creating eye witness accounts, protecting their own from arrest and justifying the wrongful shooting makes the NOPD and those police officers beyond corrupt and it is a wonder if the NOPD can ever recover. This book fits right in with the current unrest in cities around the country today and it is a sad commentary on the policing.
  • (5/5)
    As a retired 30+ year veteran of law enforcement, the last ten served as a chief of police, I was very interested to delve into Ronnie Greene's 'Shots On The Bridge: Police Violence And Cover-Up In The Wake of Katrina'. What I found was a riveting, compelling account of the complete break down of a modern law enforcement agency at a time when the citizens they served required their very best, but received their very worst. Greene has done an exquisite job, staying true to his objectivity, letting the facts of the case speak for themselves without interjecting his personal opinions. Without an agenda, or a bias, he skillfully allowed the established facts to relate the horror of what happened to the two innocent families devastated by the encounter with NOPD on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005. Although there were many larger, systemic weaknesses in the operation of the NOPD, which can be placed at the doorstep of upper level management, what happened on the bridge was the result of a deplorable breakdown of first-line supervision. Greene, quoting Lieutenant Michael Lohman speaking about the initial, fabricated accounts of the involved officers, notes: " I knew this was a bullshit story, but I went along with it." Greene notes - 'So did his colleagues, the men who shot at the people on the bridge and the supervisors who were supposed to ferret out the truth.' Sadly, my experience has demonstrated that the author has not identified a unique event in modern American policing, but has certainly shone a bright light on one of the most egregious, morally reprehensible incidents in recent years. To his credit, Greene has done a masterful job! The criminal acts of the band of rogue officers was a disgrace to themselves, their department, city and the law enforcement profession as a whole. It erodes confidence in the ability of police to act professionally, responsibly and legally when carrying out their duties in service to their respective communities. This is absolutely critical to the character of American life. We strive, under the U.S. Constitution, to maintain a civil society, the key to a successful nation, to the daily life of all Americans. Critical to maintaining that civil society is the voluntary compliance of the public at large. Once that voluntary compliance is withdrawn, once citizens lose faith in the professional, moral and ethical peace-keeping abilities of government, the results will be distrust which brings unrest, turmoil, resistance, and, eventually, chaos and anarchy. Ronnie Greene has done a great service writing 'Shots On The Bridge'. One can only hope it will motivate New Orleans to further reforms to ensure such outrages are never again performed by those who should be dedicated to public service. The Roman poet, Juvenal, once asked: "Quis custodes ipsos custodiet", roughly translated to: "Who will watch the guards themselves?" Greene has demonstrated that, in this instances, the answer was: No one!
  • (5/5)
    Greene's careful exploration of the post-Katrina shootings on the Danziger Bridge, and the police cover-up and repercussions of the same, is a powerful work that's well worth reading. By taking the time to not just go through the events, but make sure that each person involved is a figure of depth and individuality, his telling of the shootings and everything that followed is incredibly real. Deceptively, the book is a fast read with clear lines and a careful projectory, whereas the events themselves were confusing and unfolded over the course of years. Yet, the manner in which everything is brought together here gives readers a distinct understanding of the events and also serves as an analysis of how police shootings are so different from other shootings, and why they must be treated as such if justice is to be served.All told, the book is powerful and heartbreaking because the men and women who were victims were so dis-served by their own communities, but Greene's work does a fair bit toward exploring what justice can be found, and working toward a point where the same couldn't happen again--or, at least, not so easily.Absolutely, this book is recommended.
  • (4/5)
    A well documented expose on the corruption on the New Orleans Police Department following the killing and injuring of several unarmed African Americans on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. At the book's writing what appeared to be a just verdict now is in doubt. This is definitely fodder for the Black Lives Matter movement in this series of unsavory events. A real eye opener for me as this story was swept under the rug for several years.
  • (5/5)
    Just after college I lived for a year in New Orleans, which I came to know as one of the most dazzling cities in the world. Drinking coffee with chicory as I sat by the river, wandering in French Quarter stores selling powders that promised to bring you love or curse your enemy, snow cones in flavors like mango and wedding cake, visitors who came to worship at the tomb of Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen.Once I got a parking ticket and complained to a friend of mine."Give it to me," he said. "I can get that fixed. You never pay these if you know the right people."Yet the kind of corruption among police officers revealed in "Shots on the Bridge" - that I never could have imagined.I sat down to read this book, and I didn't stop until I was done. It is compelling, revealing and profoundly disturbing,The story focuses on an incident just after Hurricane Katrina in which a group of police believe an officer may be down. They rush to the area and begin shooting - and killing - at random, targeting African-Americans. They never identify themselves, they never stop and consider whether the people might actually be the perpetrators, they never even investigate as to whether a crime was committed. All of this is horrific enough, but what happened next was even worse.Perhaps - although you hope police have been trained well enough to avoid this sort of thing - Katrina was so completely overwhelming you could imagine losing your sense of reality. There was no structure whatsoever, no recognizable anything - just destruction and chaos. You could well envision police hearing of a shooting and understand how they felt completely overwhelmed.But afterward what did they do? They covered up everything. They blamed the victims. They lied. They manufactured evidence. Their superiors helped them. I admit that before I read this book I would have thought, "Come on - could this sort of thing REALLY happen here?""Shots on the Bridge" is painful, brilliant reading that will break your heart. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very disturbing book to read. It describes in great detail the murder of two innocent people and the severe wounding of several others by New Orleans police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also details the cover-up that began immediately after the murders and that continues to this day. Further, it shows just how biased the prosecutors and courts are for the police, and just how hard it is to bring a police officer to justice. Obviously, this struggle still continues today as we see the cover-up of the murder last year in Chicago. And also in Baltimore where the district attorney sabotaged the grand jury process to ensure that no charges were filed against another officer accused of murder.
  • (3/5)
    I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. This is the story of events that occurred during Hurricane Katrina that left two unarmed people dead and four others seriously wounded all at the hands of police officers. This is a story of race, corruption, and pure evil behavior by those hired to protect all citizens. This story was very heartbreaking and still lives families without justice. I can honestly say that although this is a fascinating, heart wrenching story it was difficult to follow along with due to the introduction of so many characters. However, the basis beyond the story and the telling of the cover up that was involved was very interesting.
  • (4/5)
    Engrossing, easy to read. The last 1/4 of the book was dry however. read like a text book.
  • (3/5)
    Six days after Hurricaine Katrina devastated New Orleans two families were making their way across the Danzinger bridge to find food and shelter. A Budget truck screeched to a halt and the men inside opened fire on the people resulting in two deaths and many injuries. The men were NOPD officers and were reporting to an 'officer down' call. In the hours and days after the officers and their superiors fabricate a story to cover up their wrong doing which resulted in the arrests of some of the innocent family members.This is such a heart wrenching account of the Danzinger Bridge shootings and cover-up. The shootings were done by men trying to help the citizens of New Orleans during a time of devestation and overwhelming adversity. Instead they tried to cover up their lack of following police procedure and staggering violence by framing innocent people.It took years of the families and their lawyers to finally get justice served.This was a good book, The author was well informed about the events. The book got a little dry with the legal descriptions toward the end.
  • (5/5)
    As if the devastation of Katrina wasn't enough the aftermath, what happened on the Danziger Bridge and the cover up is even more tragic. You ask yourself "How could this happen?" This book tells of the corruption in law enforcement in New Orleans not only in the police department but also in the courts. Was justice ever served? Some will say yes, some will say no, but whatever the outcome this book is a must read.I received this from LibraryThing Early Reviewer for an honest review.
  • (3/5)
    Without provocation, overaggressive police officers shot unarmed citizens crossing the Danziger Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005) in New Orleans, killing two and horrendously injuring others. OR: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, sleep-deprived police officers responding to a report of shots fired at a fellow officer mistake unarmed citizens for the shooter and open fire, killing two and horrendously injuring others. Both of the above are accurate descriptions of what happened, followed by a police cover-up and a trek through the court system that still continues. Despite some effort to provide balance, it is obvious that author Ronnie Greene's sympathy lies entirely with the victims. He gives short shrift to the defense position, for example, mentioning the so-called "Katrina defense" (the idea that alleged police atrocities must be viewed in the context of the chaos and lawlessness that reigned after the hurricane) only in the context of a quotation and without explaining it. What New Orleans was like during those desperate, surreal days cannot be fully understood by anyone who was not there (as I was) at the time. What happened on the Danziger Bridge is a story that must be recorded and remembered, and Greene is to be complimented for his extensive research. This book is not, however, a definitive account of the incident that was a life-altering tragedy for all who were involved.
  • (4/5)
    "Shots on the Bridge" was an excellent and in depth examination of a traumatic moment in the history of Post Katrina New Orleans. The book details the events that led to 7 innocent and unarmed city residents being attacked by police with assault rifles and shot guns. The attack resulted in the death of two and the maiming of several. It is an eye opening reminder that while violence is perpetrated in all places by all types of people, urban African Americans often experience violence in a disproportionate manner, particularly from the police.
  • (5/5)
    This is a horrific story of police violence against unarmed men, women and children simply trying to survive the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While the people shot at were black, the ones shooting were both white and black. It appears the blue line was more powerful than racial lines in New Orleans. A later FBI probe proved that this was the case for years in New Orleans where police, judicial and political corruption were rampant. What makes this story even more troublesome is that after the shooting of unarmed citizens the officers and their commanders then tried to cover it up. They were successful for more than six years. Furthering this injustice was the court system that tried to and did in several instances eliminate the justice conveyed by juries who convicted those in the wrong that day. This is a book that takes a hard look at unnecessary police shootings of minorities. As a nation we should be deeply ashamed of ourselves for this type of conduct and take steps to stop it.
  • (4/5)
    I received a free uncorrected proof of this book through librarything.com.We all remember hurricane Katrina and watching the horrible aftermath unfold on TV. Many of us have also heard for decades about the corrupt public officials in New Orleans so some of the details portrayed in this book were not a surprise. Great job of providing background on victim families as well as the officers involved.
  • (5/5)
    Heartbreaking account of the unnecessary death and injury of innocent people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when law enforcement overreacts, then covers up their horrific mistake.
  • (5/5)
    The details/descriptions of each person and event appeared to be well researched .In my opinion the author wrote a very clear, non biased documentation of the police cover up of this tragic event, which happened just 6 days after Hurricane Katrina.
  • (5/5)
    Thoroughly investigated and brilliantly written by author Ronnie Greene, Shots on the Bridge is the true story of six unarmed black citizens who were shot by police on the Danzinger Bridge during the days shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans Louisiana. But even worse than the killing and maiming of innocent civilians (if that's possible) was the vicious web of lies and deceit woven by the shooters and their supervisors in their efforts to cover up their terrible actions and make it seem as if the victims were criminals.
  • (4/5)
    A riveting account of what really happened on the Danziger Bridgein New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina-and the lies fabricated by the NOPD. Reading this book I felt as if I lived through that day on the bridge and the aftermath, suffered the police lies and cover-up, and the trials. This is a must read book and should be required reading for all police officers.
  • (4/5)
    Certainly fitting, not just in timeliness for the city, but for my own personal life as well. This past Monday I moved to New Orleans after only having a tertiary exposure to the city. While Shots on the Bridge doesn't open up any revolutionary theories, the dialogue needed to be had about such a important moment in the city's history, not just during Katrina. I don't want to say I look forward to hearing more about the court case, and I do hope that this comment on what happened never has to seen from any other city's viewpoint, however, this book is important to have been written.
  • (4/5)
    Very well thought out and delivered. This book broke my heart as it laid out the near militaristic aspects of "protect and serve" in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. We all heard the stories, but this is backed up with amazing research and plain speech that anyone could comprehend. There is evil in this world and it can even exist in those you expect to protect you. Must Read!
  • (3/5)
    I received this book in exchange for an honest review.[Shots On The Bridge] by [Ronnie Greene] is a good piece of investigative journalism about one of the most notorious events in post-Katrina New Orleans. As most people I was glued to my TV all throughout Katrina and I remember the news reports of a shoot out on a bridge involving police. As I recall the news reported that it was gangsters and looter shooting at the police. There were many reports of this nature in the confusion following one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. We now know that most of these reports were embellished at best or just down right lies.[Ronnie Greene] did an excellent job relating the events as they occurred and giving a voice to the victims. The fact that these families were just trying to cross a bridge and came under fire by an overly armed unit of police is disconcerting enough but the fact that the police conspired to cover it up makes it even worse. Although it was wrong I could understand the officers reaction to the call of shots fired given the trauma that they had also been through. It is the cover up and lies that compound the wrongfulness of their actions.I though [Greene] did a good job but he seems to jump around a bit too much. There is a lack of fluid transitions. Also, I feel his view was very one sided. I know that the police did something horrible but they were victims of Katrina as well and probably should not have been on duty at that point. If the correct relief and support had been provided this whole situation may have been avoided.
  • (4/5)
    Well researched story of a horrific shooting in the aftermath of Katrina. The author is fair, outlining the events and circumstances that led to the shooting of two unarmed black families by police. One can at least understand how such a tragedy came to pass. The true horror is the cover-up than began to take shape immediately, supported by so many men in a betrayal of the public trust, and the pinning of guilt upon the innocent as malefactors were hailed as heroes. This is a wretchedly fascinating story that shines a light on the larger problem of injustice in New Orleans and beyond, of the failure of both local and federal members of the judicial system. I'll be passing this book along...
  • (4/5)
    This was one of the most unbias non-fiction novels I've read in a long time. Which is very refreshing. From the beginning this book does not choose one side over the other. And the author does not make an attempt to give reason to unreasonable acts. They simply tell the story the way it was told from many points of view. Which is the best any writer can do for an event in which they were not present. This book is a heartbreaking story told with brutality and what felt to me like honesty about an injustice that was not, and may never be set right. It also sheds light on the idea that real heroes may not exist and that corrupt power will ultimately win out in the end. This novel delves into the horrendous acts done repeatedly by cops, whom most of us look to as protectors only to find that a civilian is more likely to be gun down by someone with a badge than an 'obvious criminal' and that person with the badge will most likely get away with taking that innocent life. It is an honest truth that this novel does not try to sugar coat.
  • (5/5)
    Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina is a straight forward and honest report of what happened on the Danzinger Bridge. The author based it on many interviews, court transcripts, autopsy reports and many other documents.As I have learned from other books about Katrina, the city never funded a viable action plan for a disaster of this proportion. People who could not afford to leave or refused to leave for other reasons faced a city in true chaos. The story of the actions of the New Orleans Police Department is only one part of what happened but it is important that it be told.The author profiles both the victims of the families on the bridge and the individual police involved in the shootings and those tried to bury the true facts. Reading about this tragedy, you will learn that there were many causes for what happened and they all came together and forever ruined lives.The author ties everything together and lets the story be told. The facts of this story are even to make you weep while you read it and feel so bad for the victims, including the sweet mentally challenges 40 year old male who did not want to leave New Orleans without his dogs and the mother who only has one picture of her son who was shot for no reason except for trying to cross a bridge. I will not go over the details here, that is for you to read about and I hope that you do. This should have never happened. It is important that everyone know the many causes and also demand justice for those who have had their lives shattered.Please read this book and learn and we all need to work on insuring justice and preventing tragedies of this level from happening again and again.I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book as a win from LibraryThing from the publishers in exchange for a fair book review. My thoughts and feelings in this review are totally my own.
  • (5/5)
    I received an advance copy of "Shots On The Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina" and had not heard about this event or the author, Ronnie Greene, until then. I didn't want to put this book down. Greene's reporting of the events and the people involved was engaging, well-written and thought-provoking. But most importantly, it was fair. This book isn't a denouncement of the New Orleans Police Department or of police in general. Greene gave as much time and space to the fact that police officers were left to fend for themselves during Katrina and that they stayed behind because of a sense of duty when they could have left the city before the hurricane. His report is just that - a report. It is non-apologetic and unwavering and it leaves the reader to form his or her own ideas about what is going wrong in America. I came away with further proof that the Us vs. Them mentality that pervades American thought is a horrific and deadly disease. We need more reporting like this.
  • (5/5)
    I know politicians are not honest. I know power corrupts. And I know many cops are bullies with a badge. And yet...I am still left shaken by all this book exposed.Ronnie Greene's writing style is engaging. Despite the disturbing content, the book itself is easy to read, though at times I had to put it down just to distance myself from the emotional turmoil. Greene doesn't simply give us the facts. He introduces us to the people whose lives were forever changed. He puts us right on that bridge, and I swear I could hear the shots and the screams. Then he takes us through the aftermath, as the victims were portrayed as killers and the murderous cops as heroes. This is a heart-wrenching story that needs to be read. It needs to be talked about. It needs to be absorbed and understood. We need to acknowledge the deep flaws in our "justice" system, beginning with the lack of adequate training and support our police receive. Until that time, we are doomed to hear more shots on a bridge. And the next time, you or someone you love could be standing there.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting book concerning the New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of the hurricane. The actions of the principals is well written, and the research into the incident appears well done. Good use of prior shootings, and the cover ups, is presented. The prior shootings and aftermath are needed as it would be hard to believe this incident happened as described without knowing the prior history. It is a piece of history which should be known by everyone, a cautionary tale of what can happen when society starts to unravel.
  • (4/5)
    This is a scary book in that it reveals to any person, like myself, unarmed and fully dependent on law enforcement for protection, just how sad a state we are all in when those we must rely on are like those that Mr. Greene writes about in this book - dishonest and not at all worthy of the trust we bestow on them. The hurricane is irrelevant, really, to what Mr. Greene writes about here. Our very recent pasts, in Ferguson, Mo., New York City, and far too many other places, tell me that law enforcement is attracting a percentage of the VERY WRONG sort of psychotic individuals - individuals who think that a gun on their hip makes them more right, more moral, more thoughtful, more honest - than the public that they serve, when in fact these events (in these many sites across our nation [one of which is my hometown]) tell us that law enforcement needs a new paradigm for their selection of those who are allowed to carry and use deadly weapons. The English bobbies have done remarkably well as unarmed (until arms are needed) law enforcers. Let us emulate them and start taking deadly arms OUT of as many hands, including police, as possible. Let us also start trusting our psychologists and psychiatrists to determine who among us can walk around with lethal power dangling upon his or her hip!
  • (4/5)
    This book was not easy to finish. The reason is not poor writing or it being uninteresting. On the contrary, Ronnie Green has written a compelling piece of journalism. What makes the book difficult to finish is the subject matter. What happened on the Danzinger bridge six days after Katrina and the subsequent miscarriage of justice is horrifying and enraging. Two brothers and a family were crossing the Danzinger bridge in a New Orleans still flooded with the levee waters. Cops arrive suddenly on the scene and start firing their shotguns and automatic weapons at the people on the bridge. The New Orleans police mistakenly believe they are firing at armed looters who had just killed two fellow officers. All the victims on the bridge receive bullet wounds. One young man dies on the bridge. Ronald Madison,, a retarded man who stayed during Katrina to take care of his dogs, is stomped on by a police officer as he lays dying in the mud. His brother Lance seeking help from state police is promptly arrested. After the shooting stops and the victims are taken to the hospital it dawns on the police that they've shot up unarmed civilians for no reason. The police will end up inventing two witnesses, planting a gun, and swearing false testimony to cover up the incident. If that's not bad enough, two of the victims will be charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at the police. My heart really went out for the victims and their families. I also felt sympathy for the police to some degree. The police at the bridge did elect to stay during Katrina when many fellow officers fled. They were rescuing people without adequate shelter, equipment, or supplies. The response to Katrina was a debacle on every level. Federal, State, and local officials deserve jail time for their mismanagement of the aftermath.After the awful events of that day. The survivors as well as the police will take a ride on a judicial roller coaster that nine years later has yet to stop.Ronnie Green has done a public service for giving this incident an audience outside of New Orleans. If you think that the events in Brooklyn or Baltimore were bad, they don't have nothing on the Danzinger bridge.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very hard story to hear because of the way it hasn't ended for anyone involved.Shots on the Bridge is the story of the killing and wounding of innocent people in the aftermath of one of the worse natural disasters of our time, Hurricane Katrina. The only thing is - the shootings are also one of the worse disasters in our time also.. Unfortunately due to strange and bizarre circumstances that disaster is still going on.The corruption in the police department in New Orleans is beyond anything imaginable and then to have a judge throw out the convictions because of a "might have happened" is beyond believe. This story is very well written and paints a very clear impression of why people are losing faith in the judicial system and the government itself.Very heartbreaking for the victims and everyone involved.