New Orleans Police Used Deadly Force, Federal Report Shows

A Department of Justice report released Thursday detailed the deadly force, unconstitutional arrests, and racial profiling by the New Orleans police, a problem brought to light in the chaos following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Although Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the report sobering but not surprising, its release is certainly timely: One police officer is awaiting sentencing for a federal manslaughter conviction in a post-Katrina shooting and others await trial in separate killings of unnamed civilians. The report also accused the local authorities of “mishandling” investigations into officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, calling their actions “blatant and egregious” in ways that almost seemed intentional. The corruption led to a deep distrust among the city’s residents, the report said, and then in turn led to a crime wave that police could not control. Landrieu requested the report in May 2010 shortly after taking office.