Trial Opens for Katrina Police Shootings

The trial of five New Orleans police officers began Monday for their alleged roles in the Danizer Bridge shooting just days after Hurricane Katrina, which left two people dead and four more wounded. The officers had responded to reports of shots fired on the bridge; the civilians, however, were later found to be unarmed, and the police involved are also accused of initiating a massive cover-up that ran for years. The officers’ defense is arguing that their actions must be viewed in the extraordinary circumstances of post-Katrina New Orleans, when the city was cut off from the outside world. “You can’t judge them by today’s standards,” said one of their lawyers. “You have to go back to Aug. 29.”