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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on January 12, 2007 5:29 PM.

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Hang 'em Now, We'll Get the Conviction Later

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In the January 12, 2007 edition of the Daily Comet, City Editor Michael Gorman writes a column titled, "Cops have their own crime spree".

In his article, Gorman starts off talking about two separate instances in which members of the New Orleans Police Department have allegedly attacked, injuring or killing a member of the general public.

Two thirds of the way into his column, he brings up Louisiana State Senator Charles "C.D." Jones, D-Monroe who has just been fined by the Louisiana Board of Ethics for failing to report work done on behalf of three housing developments.

Gorman uses this to insist that everyone, regardless of their position, should be made to face the same consequences as most normal citizens.

That is 100 percent correct. Everyone should face the same consequences and I am not one to argue against that. What I will argue about is this statement from Mr. Gorman's column.

The police department allowed the officers to turn themselves in. They marched into the jail amid a swarm of supporters, some of whom claimed to be neither police officers nor family members. Sure.

It's great the way those people stood out there to wish these accused killers the best. I'm sure they do that for most of the folks who get arrested in New Orleans.

I take exception to Mr. Gorman's insinuation that those people who showed up to support the police officers lied to reporters when they said they were not related. If I did not have a job to attend to, I would have stood there in support of the officers.

I also take exception to Mr. Gorman's dismay that some folks would actually believe those seven officers were innocent and to show their support for them.

I know no more about the case than most people, getting my information from radio sound bites and newspaper articles. But, I also realize the dangerous situation these officers found themselves in.

The City of New Orleans and areas around it were flooded. At the time of the incident, September 4, 2005, people were still waiting to be transported away from the Superdome and Morial Convention Center. Basic life needs were hard to come by and the officers of the NOPD who stayed on the job were forced to also forego sleep.

In what can only be described as a war scene, these officers were asked to respond to a situation that was probably worse than what our armed forces are seeing in Iraq and yet, we cannot give them the benefit of the doubt.

New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan has indicted these seven officers for murder. State Attorney General Charles Foti has indicted a doctor and two nurses for murder. I'm wonder how many of our law enforcement and medical staff are going to stick around for the next major hurricane that comes bearing down on Louisiana.

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