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

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A gripping tale of police brutality, investigating the cover-up of a deadly NOLA cops’ shooting of six unarmed civilians, published on the tenth anniversary of Katrina 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 a A gripping tale of police brutality, investigating the cover-up of a deadly NOLA cops’ shooting of six unarmed civilians, published on the tenth anniversary of Katrina 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.


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A gripping tale of police brutality, investigating the cover-up of a deadly NOLA cops’ shooting of six unarmed civilians, published on the tenth anniversary of Katrina 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 a A gripping tale of police brutality, investigating the cover-up of a deadly NOLA cops’ shooting of six unarmed civilians, published on the tenth anniversary of Katrina 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.

30 review for Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I love true crime stories, but this one blew me away. It is so hard to beleive all this happened, but I am convinced it did. I am completely relate to the story of the Madison brothers. I have a son who is mentally challenged and I could see him in this situation. He would NOT want to leave behind our cats. During tornado warnings, he personally gathers up all three cats and puts them in the basement wih us. He is also stubborn and would not leave the house without the cats. I felt so bad for th I love true crime stories, but this one blew me away. It is so hard to beleive all this happened, but I am convinced it did. I am completely relate to the story of the Madison brothers. I have a son who is mentally challenged and I could see him in this situation. He would NOT want to leave behind our cats. During tornado warnings, he personally gathers up all three cats and puts them in the basement wih us. He is also stubborn and would not leave the house without the cats. I felt so bad for this family and all the families affected by this horrible tragedy. The book is written so well. I liked learning the background of the people, not just the story of the crime. I still can't believe something like this still happens regularly in the US.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kennedy

    Excessive use of force by the police is a hot topic these days, so I was interested in reading this book of a shooting incident in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. On the morning of September 4, 2005, six days after the hurricane ripped through New Orleans, a van-load of policemen took off for a bridge where a fellow officer was reportedly being shot at. At the bridge, the officers poured out of the van and started shooting. When it was all over, two people were dead and four grievously wounded. N Excessive use of force by the police is a hot topic these days, so I was interested in reading this book of a shooting incident in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. On the morning of September 4, 2005, six days after the hurricane ripped through New Orleans, a van-load of policemen took off for a bridge where a fellow officer was reportedly being shot at. At the bridge, the officers poured out of the van and started shooting. When it was all over, two people were dead and four grievously wounded. None of them was armed. To cover up this massacre, the police concocted an elaborate -- and entirely false -- story. I settled in looking forward to a great read. I had read and enjoyed the bestselling Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink. But... within a few pages, I was ready to put the book down. The author's grammar and sentence structure were so off-putting that it ruined the reading experience for me. The author mixes tenses sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. The reader is whipsawed between past and present tense, simple future (will do something) and future perfect (will have done something). Even within sentences, the tense changes. I couldn't follow the author's train of thought, the grammar was so fractured. One example: "They do the best they could without adequate leadership...." Sentence structure is confusing. It seems the author was going for effect, not comprehension. Here is one example: "The officer and lawyer put those personal issues aside, Hunter working through 'the internal conflict and demons he had to deal with,' his lawyer said." Or: "The mother of one New Orleans family wouldn't flee the coming storm because she had just one van, but eleven family members needing a way out, all huddled in her apartment looking to her for answers." I had to read sentences like these multiple times to arrive at what the author might be saying. I hate to ding a book because of something like this -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning author certainly has proven his journalistic chops -- but it's so pervasive I couldn't get through the story. The real issue is probably the lack of editing. I skipped to the end to get the outcome of the trial that followed the incident. Knowing the bare bones of an incident like this is certainly better than knowing nothing about it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan (aka Just My Op)

    Subtitled “Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina,” this is the kind of book that I can't resist reading even though I know it is likely to infuriate me. I didn't resist this one. It did infuriate me. More than that, it saddened me that so much can go so wrong at the hands of those who should protect us. Many of us know, but perhaps have forgotten, that people displaced by Hurricane Katrina were shot by the New Orleans police on the Danziger Bridge a few days after the hurricane stru Subtitled “Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina,” this is the kind of book that I can't resist reading even though I know it is likely to infuriate me. I didn't resist this one. It did infuriate me. More than that, it saddened me that so much can go so wrong at the hands of those who should protect us. Many of us know, but perhaps have forgotten, that people displaced by Hurricane Katrina were shot by the New Orleans police on the Danziger Bridge a few days after the hurricane struck. Two were killed. And it was not one or two errant shots. No, it was a bloodbath. The initial reports were confusing and blamed the citizens on the bridge – after all, they started shooting first. Or so we were told. It has taken a long time for the truth to come out, and the story is not finished yet. What happened on that bridge was horrible and could have so easily been avoided. It was probably fueled by fear as much as anything else, in those terrible days. What happened after, in a police department with a long-standing history of corruption and cover-ups, was despicable and was nothing more than cowardly behavior of people refusing to take responsibility. The author covers the story in great detail. His writing is not especially compelling, but the story carries itself. It doesn't need a lot of fancy packaging. The author does have an odd tendency to introduce new players' names in the middle of a sentence, More than once, I had to go back and reread to find out exactly who's. The author does repeat some key elements, but that is probably necessary because they are brought up again in a different context, in a different stage of the story. The book is relatively short, and is an easy read if not a fun one. My advance reader's copy didn't contain the epilogue or some photos that the published edition should contain, and those should add to the story. I have read several other nonfiction books about criminal injustices, and they never fail to surprise me, and sadden me, all over again by how unjust our system, a wonderful one at its best, can be at its worst. Liberty and justice for some. I was given an advance reader's copy of this book for review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    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 1reports 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 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 1reports 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 out of 5

    Mary Eve

    Horrifying. Disturbing. Shameful. Criminal. Murderers. Five words I would use to describe a group of New Orleans police officers so out of control and above the law it's almost impossible to believe. Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in most and the worst in others. I don't care how unprepared, overwhelmed, and overworked the NOPD was for the devastation that Katrina left in her path, NO EXCUSE is ever going to convince me that the actions taken by these officers couldn't have been easily a Horrifying. Disturbing. Shameful. Criminal. Murderers. Five words I would use to describe a group of New Orleans police officers so out of control and above the law it's almost impossible to believe. Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in most and the worst in others. I don't care how unprepared, overwhelmed, and overworked the NOPD was for the devastation that Katrina left in her path, NO EXCUSE is ever going to convince me that the actions taken by these officers couldn't have been easily avoided. You had one job and it wasn't to kill innocent victims of natural disaster. I love New Orleans. It's a fabulous place with good, happy folk. This was painful to read. Heartbreaking. *I was provided with a DRC from Edelweiss for review purposes. Opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Kilgore

    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 fascinat 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...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darcia Helle

    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, a 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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina pummelled the Gulf Coast, all but destroying the city of New Orleans, Shots on the Bridge by Ronnie Greene revisits the Danzinger Bridge shooting, the outcome of a police action gone terribly wrong days after Hurricane Katrina battered the city into submission. The result left 2 innocent people dead, riddled with bullets, and 4 critically injured, including one woman having her arm literally blown off by NOPD officers, who were answering an erroneous emerg Nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina pummelled the Gulf Coast, all but destroying the city of New Orleans, Shots on the Bridge by Ronnie Greene revisits the Danzinger Bridge shooting, the outcome of a police action gone terribly wrong days after Hurricane Katrina battered the city into submission. The result left 2 innocent people dead, riddled with bullets, and 4 critically injured, including one woman having her arm literally blown off by NOPD officers, who were answering an erroneous emergency call claiming that an officer was under fire. Shots on the Bridge is a timely reminder of how leadership in our cities can disintegrate rapidly during major disasters. It is also a bird's eye view of what may be in store at a future disaster near you. Greene presents a well written account of the events, as well as the issues responsible for the outcome, and the effects that are still being felt by many today. Highly recommended to all readers. Read my entire interview in The Thugbrarian Review @ http://wp.me/p4pAFB-un

  9. 4 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I almost gave up on it 42 pages in, because I was so hurt and angry over the brutal treatment of those innocent victims on the Denzinger bridge. I was talking to a friend about how I couldn't go on reading when she asked "What happened to the cops?" So, I jumped ahead to pg 116 and the trial. It gets better, then it gets worse and now...days away from the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Hurricane Rita isn't mentioned in the book), the "justice" done I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I almost gave up on it 42 pages in, because I was so hurt and angry over the brutal treatment of those innocent victims on the Denzinger bridge. I was talking to a friend about how I couldn't go on reading when she asked "What happened to the cops?" So, I jumped ahead to pg 116 and the trial. It gets better, then it gets worse and now...days away from the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Hurricane Rita isn't mentioned in the book), the "justice" done is mostly undone and unresolved. Those poor families. This book broke my heart and my spirit. A great book, well researched and well written, about a terrible part of our history, and our present to be honest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jytte Taylor

    just after the floods in New Orleans, there was a shooting on the Danzinger Bridge on september 5,2005, innocent unarmed people were shot by police, the NOPD were hailed as heroes. For years there was a cover-up and false testimonies were given, it was not until much later that William Bezak, FBI and Bobbi Bernstein, Dept. of justce got involved and interviewed all involved and found that everyone had different stories. Finally on July 12,2010 US District Court of The Eastern District of Luisiana just after the floods in New Orleans, there was a shooting on the Danzinger Bridge on september 5,2005, innocent unarmed people were shot by police, the NOPD were hailed as heroes. For years there was a cover-up and false testimonies were given, it was not until much later that William Bezak, FBI and Bobbi Bernstein, Dept. of justce got involved and interviewed all involved and found that everyone had different stories. Finally on July 12,2010 US District Court of The Eastern District of Luisiana filed one of most significant cases in history..Nearly 5 years after the shootings, the unvarnished story came to light and 27 count indicment was issued.

  11. 4 out of 5

    wade

    A well documented expose on the corruption if the New Orleans Police Department following the killing and injuring of several unnamed African Americans on the Danziger Bridge after hurricane Katrina. At the books' 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 a long time. A well documented expose on the corruption if the New Orleans Police Department following the killing and injuring of several unnamed African Americans on the Danziger Bridge after hurricane Katrina. At the books' 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 a long time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Wyrd

    disturbing from start to startling finish.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bookphile

    Considering all of the police misconduct from one end of the country to the other that has been a constant in the news lately, I don't think it's possible to read this book in isolation. It's yet another piece adding to the sense that justice in the U.S. is nowhere near as blind as it purports to be. More complete review to come. Full review: When you read a book like this, you need to plan on being angry by the time you finish. I thought I was prepared for that. Reading the book description alone Considering all of the police misconduct from one end of the country to the other that has been a constant in the news lately, I don't think it's possible to read this book in isolation. It's yet another piece adding to the sense that justice in the U.S. is nowhere near as blind as it purports to be. More complete review to come. Full review: When you read a book like this, you need to plan on being angry by the time you finish. I thought I was prepared for that. Reading the book description alone was enough to tell me that I was going to be very outraged over the atrocity committed, but it didn't prepare me for the weird legal labyrinth later chapters would describe. Given the current climate as far as police abuse goes in modern-day America, it's becoming increasingly difficult to be convinced that the justice system works. Were it not for events in Cleveland, Ferguson, and New York, I might have thought a crime like that described in this book was an isolated incident. I would say "would that it were", but what happened in New Orleans should never have happened, just as what's happened elsewhere in the U.S. should never have happened. By journalists bringing these events into the light of day, I can only hope that vast changes and improvements are on the horizon. This book is very difficult to read at times, as it should be. Some serious discomfort is what people need to feel in order to be compelled to demand change. There's nothing lurid in this book, but reading the matter-of-fact account of what happened to the victims of the Danziger Bridge assault is stomach-turning. It's the sort of thing you could imagine happening in a warzone, not in a supposedly civilized country with a rule of law. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, but I don't find them to be an excuse in any way. While I admire those law enforcement officers who stayed behind to help the citizens even as their chain of command collapsed, there is simply no excuse for what happened on the Danziger Bridge. I understand why the officers' defense attorneys took the tack they did, emphasizing how their clients had risked their lives in staying to help out, and describing the trauma and chaos they experienced in the wake of the hurricane, but what they suffered was no different from what the victims suffered, yet none of these innocent people seized assault weapons and opened fire on innocent civilians. And what does it say about our police forces that they are wielding assault weapons, regardless of circumstance? Isn't that a job for the National Guard? Had the officers not had such weapons, maybe at the very least they would have caused a whole lot less pain, suffering, and trauma to the Bartholmew family, to the Madison family, to JJ Brissette. Had they not felt they had such overwhelming firepower at their disposal, maybe they would have taken the time to assess the situation, to shout out a warning to the innocent victims, to do anything but what they did do. Police officers may receive weapons training, but they are nowhere near equipped to be patrolling with assault weapons. That is a job for those with military training, and even they have been known to forget their training and commit horrible acts in the heat of the moment. The NOPD officers had no business whatsoever being armed as they were. It doesn't matter that the department didn't provide them with those weapons. They may as well have, given that they provided the officers with the tactic approval to carry them. Race cannot be taken out of the equation either. The fact is, there is no way of knowing what the officers might have done had a group of white people been crossing the bridge after they received the shots fired call. But the U.S. does need to do some serious soul-searching and does need to vigorously question why members of minorities are so very disproportionately represented in prisons and in prosecution. Greene offers some statistics as to the number of people arrested in the hurricane's aftermath, and the numbers speak for themselves. What does it say about our country when the people who are responsible for large-scale murder on American soil (what happens overseas is a whole other matter that needs a great deal of consideration) fall into one of two categories: mass murderers or police officers? What does it say about our country when whites and minorities use drugs at about the same rates, but prisoners imprisoned on drug-related charges are far and away more likely to be members of a minority? Egregious as what these law enforcement officers did was, what happened in the courts was a massive failure of epic proportions. The fact that one judge could have such enormous power is frankly scary. We love to tout our legal system, to blather on about how great it is that we're judged by a jury of our peers, yet what's the point when a judge can just go right ahead and set aside a jury's verdict? I know those checks are supposed to be there to protect against abuse, but who protects victims against judicial abuse? What Judge Englehardt did comes across as his personal vendetta against the Justice Department, which led to a one-man crusade to right what he saw as DOJ's wrongs. Yet what about the victims of the crime? It's as if their suffering mattered a whole lot less to the judge than did the sweet plea deals some of the offenders received, as if the judge would rather free convicted murderers than stomach the idea that some of those murderers got off with lesser sentences. While I agree that this is a serious flaw in our legal system, it's unconscionable that the victims should have been so repeatedly denied the justice they fought so hard to try to win. This book left me feeling nothing but disgust and fury toward the legal system as a whole. On behalf of the victims, I feel a hopeless sense of desolation. How many times can people be victimized by the very system that purports to protect them? I find it exceedingly hard not to lose faith in our democracy when such undemocratic acts occur. They're an offense against our very country and against the basic ideals of human justice and dignity. If there is any good at all that can come out of these situations it's that maybe, just maybe, Americans will care enough to demand better, that maybe they will decide that ALL human life is worthy of dignity, and that they will fight to ensure that atrocities like this never again happen to another person.

  14. 4 out of 5

    M R

    Wow. What a stunning book. I remember hearing a little about this incident, but not much because I had just started my freshman year of college when Hurricane Katrina hit NOLA and beyond the initial shock of the terrifying natural disaster and the "George Bush doesn't care about Black people" Kanye moment I moved on from this rather quickly. The book opens with the author setting the scene for that fateful Sunday morning and then detailing other instances of gross police overreach, misconduct, n Wow. What a stunning book. I remember hearing a little about this incident, but not much because I had just started my freshman year of college when Hurricane Katrina hit NOLA and beyond the initial shock of the terrifying natural disaster and the "George Bush doesn't care about Black people" Kanye moment I moved on from this rather quickly. The book opens with the author setting the scene for that fateful Sunday morning and then detailing other instances of gross police overreach, misconduct, negligence and violence - it is absolutely shocking and disgusting. Ronnie Greene sets the scene and shows the history of NOLA's PD and their lawlessness that preceded and proceeds the violence and killings on the Danzinger Bridge. This book has a thoroughly exhaustive research component and it is does so much to truly show the culture of NOPD (and most PDs for that matter) in how they deal with the public and how they protect their own at all costs. I was horrified by the story that was told of what happened to those poor innocent people on the bridge. There were moments were I was too disgusted to read on and yet I had to because I needed to know what happened and how something like this killing and coverup could go so far. I was disheartened as I read about what happened when the police and local DA tried to judge themselves and found no one in the wrong. I was buoyed to see that the DOJ had stepped in and made this case and got justice for these families. Although, it is interesting to see how our system of plea deals within the justice system has had adverse affects not only for those who are innocent and take deals because they don't know any better or because they're tired of sitting in jail and want to go home but also for those who are absolutely guilty without a doubt and should be thrown under the jail and are instead given a slap on the wrist. I was incensed when I read that Judge Engelhardt was basically obstructing justice and allowing these murderous cops to remain unpunished because of some small and irrelevant detail about commenting online. Judge Englehardt really got my blood boiling because he decided to undo all this justice and peace of mind that these families had by focusing not on the shocking and deplorable facts and acts of these "officers of the law", but instead on the DOJ and the questionable, but not nearly as important online postings of DOJ employees. I'm saddened by the gross miscarriage of justice and my heart breaks for all three of these families as they try to deal with not only the loss of loved ones, limbs and trust in human decency but also with the constant retelling of their story and avoidance of justice by those who knowingly committed and then covered up these atrocities. This is a story that I will never forget and I hope that sooner rather than later I get see these families be vindicated and have justice served.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andie

    Shots on the Bridge is about the police shooting of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge six days after Hurricane Katrina made devastated New Orleans, and what happened afterwards in the wake of a police cover-up and a Federal murder trial. Anyone who knows anything about New Orleans knows that both the city and the state of Louisiana are cesspools of corruption and that the NOPD is especially culpable when it comes to mismanagement and the disregard of citizen's civil rights. This has been t Shots on the Bridge is about the police shooting of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge six days after Hurricane Katrina made devastated New Orleans, and what happened afterwards in the wake of a police cover-up and a Federal murder trial. Anyone who knows anything about New Orleans knows that both the city and the state of Louisiana are cesspools of corruption and that the NOPD is especially culpable when it comes to mismanagement and the disregard of citizen's civil rights. This has been true for decades (see the movie "The Big Easy" released in 1986 for examples of this), but the chaos following Hurricane Katrina just exacerbated the natural tendencies of the NOPD to act in irresponsible ways and then lie about what happened. The author, while clearly sympathizing with the victims and their families, does point out how the police force got little to no leadership from their chain of command in the chaotic days after the hurricane struck. A large portion of the force simply abandoned their posts, communications systems completely broke down and police officers were basically left to their own devices. Still, there was no excuse for the police rampage that left several people dead and multiple more wounded and for the lies that formed the police cover-up that followed the event. Told in meticulous detail, the author describes the cover-up, the battle of the families for justice, the victory of the Federal prosecution and then the stunning reversal of the verdicts in 2013. Given the scrutiny over police actions against citizens of color in this country in the past year, this is an important book to read 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

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I don't know if this is a bigger indictment of me personally, or of media coverage and/or the culture in my part of the world, (?) but the fact is I knew precious little (alright, nothing) about the events depicted in this book. I found them shocking to say the least. Shocking on two levels actually: shocking as to what transpired on the Danziger Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina, and shocking that I had never heard about it before. That truth alone, it seems to me, makes Shots on t I don't know if this is a bigger indictment of me personally, or of media coverage and/or the culture in my part of the world, (?) but the fact is I knew precious little (alright, nothing) about the events depicted in this book. I found them shocking to say the least. Shocking on two levels actually: shocking as to what transpired on the Danziger Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina, and shocking that I had never heard about it before. That truth alone, it seems to me, makes Shots on the Bridge of great import. And the fact that this narrative may provide historical context on more recent and current events makes it all the more significant to read. If I'm being honest, though, I'm not sure that this book couldn't have been constructed a bit better. I feel like the narrative didn't flow as well as it could have, and it seemed a little redundant in parts. But it's difficult for me to judge non-fiction in terms of the craft of the words, because it's so difficult to separate that from the impact of the events described. That being said, my gut says maybe this could've been crafted just a bit better. But...Oh my, the events! (!!) I am very glad I read this, and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't know much (or anything) about what happened on the Danziger Bridge. (And then, like me, once you know the what, you may begin to ponder the why.) And any book that I would easily recommend - flaws and all - gets at least... Four Stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Ronnie Greene investigates the Danziger Bridge police shooting, which occurred just days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans in 2005. The shooting left 2 innocent people dead and 4 seriously injured at the hands of the New Orleans Police Department. This is a horrific case of police misconduct and cover up. This investigative report also addresses some of the local and national systemic failures following Hurricane Katrina, which left officers unequipped, unprepared, isolated Ronnie Greene investigates the Danziger Bridge police shooting, which occurred just days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans in 2005. The shooting left 2 innocent people dead and 4 seriously injured at the hands of the New Orleans Police Department. This is a horrific case of police misconduct and cover up. This investigative report also addresses some of the local and national systemic failures following Hurricane Katrina, which left officers unequipped, unprepared, isolated, physically and psychologically exhausted, lacking in leadership and communication, and often times without basic access to food, clothing, shelter, etc. The totality of their, and other emergency responders' experiences during this time is unfathomable. While there are "bad" "evil" "unethical" "violent" etc people in all professions, the police included, there are also much larger issues at play here, including, but certainly not limited to, the role of the situation in influencing thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and the failure of multiple systems to support and communicate with the police in the wake of Katrina's aftermath. Furthermore, Shots on the Bridge enlightens readers to the many failures of the justice system, on local and federal levels, and the horrific experiences of the families devastated by NOPD's actions and inactions. What they have endured is unimaginable. An all around devastating and tragic series of events.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Munro

    This is the tale: 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, al This is the tale: 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. Yes, they were called to a 108 (shots fired on an officer). Yes, they responded feeling frightened and overtired from countless hours on duty after landfall of Katrina. Yes, they made a mistake. The story here could have ended at that point, but the NOPD decided to falsify documents, arrest the innocent and overtly create a cover-up that made me sick. Are those officers guilty, yes; so why have they yet to pay retribution?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the GoodReads FirstReads program. On September 4, 2015, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police Department opened fire on two family groups on the Danziger Bridge. When they were done, two people were dead, several others were severely wounded, and two, including one of the severely wounded, were under arrest. When they discovered that the people on the bridge had no weapons and posed no threat to them, the manufactured evidence and wit Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the GoodReads FirstReads program. On September 4, 2015, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police Department opened fire on two family groups on the Danziger Bridge. When they were done, two people were dead, several others were severely wounded, and two, including one of the severely wounded, were under arrest. When they discovered that the people on the bridge had no weapons and posed no threat to them, the manufactured evidence and witnesses, and wrote and rewrote a report that said that the police were returning fire after being attacked. They sent two innocent people to jail and portrayed themselves as heroes. Several years later, a federal investigation led to the innocents being exonerated and released from jail and the guilty officers sent to prison. Wonderful, right? Justice triumphed. Except that the judge decided that the prosecution had acted improperly and through out the trial. This book was very well researched and a fantastic read, but it made me angry over and over again when I saw how justice was subverted. Indeed, as the author points out, these events were just another example of police misconduct towards minorities which continues to this day. I highly recommend this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    With national tension with law enforcement at an all-time high, it's no surprise that stories of police brutality have become all the more poignant albeit it is putting some stories into the category of hysteria. Don't get me wrong, stories of brutality, abuse, and fraud MUST be brought to light for justice to be served, and this motivates me greatly to read about them to form my own opinions. With this in mind, I found Ronnie Greene's story of several NOPD officers response to an officer under f With national tension with law enforcement at an all-time high, it's no surprise that stories of police brutality have become all the more poignant albeit it is putting some stories into the category of hysteria. Don't get me wrong, stories of brutality, abuse, and fraud MUST be brought to light for justice to be served, and this motivates me greatly to read about them to form my own opinions. With this in mind, I found Ronnie Greene's story of several NOPD officers response to an officer under fire, their response, and the cover-up that followed to be very rioting, shocking, and disturbing. Tales such as these need the light of day to bring about a better discourse on law enforcement policy and Greene does a great job investigating the incident... 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Collins

    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 thems 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    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 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    D'Anne

    As the aftermath of Katrina unfolded there were many horror stories circulating on the news: rapes at the Superdome, relief helicopters being shot down, armed gangs roaming the streets. Many of these stories turned out to be false or exaggerated. The shooting of unarmed citizens by police on the Danziger Bridge, however, was all too real and true, though it seemed almost lost in the shuffle of the media's preferred narrative of "blacks gone wild." Unless you've been actively following the case o As the aftermath of Katrina unfolded there were many horror stories circulating on the news: rapes at the Superdome, relief helicopters being shot down, armed gangs roaming the streets. Many of these stories turned out to be false or exaggerated. The shooting of unarmed citizens by police on the Danziger Bridge, however, was all too real and true, though it seemed almost lost in the shuffle of the media's preferred narrative of "blacks gone wild." Unless you've been actively following the case over the last ten years, it's easy to assume the case is over. Ronnie Greene's Shots on the Bridge, however, shows that it's not even close to being over and puts the case into context of more recent killings of black civilians by police across the country. Ten years later, justice still hasn't been served in the Danziger case (see: http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/...). It's still possible that corrupt cops might get away with murder in this country. Yet again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    As a Katrina refugee, I thought I was finally over reading everything on Katrina, but I bought Shots on the Bridge and damn NOLA's ability to make me cry 10 years after Katrina! This goes on my shelf next to Zeitoun, the Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayou, and One Dead in Attic. It's not this first time that police corruption was the subject of a book, and I sympathize with EVERYONE'S fear in the wake of the storm, but shooting unarmed people in the back, shooting people already bleeding on the As a Katrina refugee, I thought I was finally over reading everything on Katrina, but I bought Shots on the Bridge and damn NOLA's ability to make me cry 10 years after Katrina! This goes on my shelf next to Zeitoun, the Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayou, and One Dead in Attic. It's not this first time that police corruption was the subject of a book, and I sympathize with EVERYONE'S fear in the wake of the storm, but shooting unarmed people in the back, shooting people already bleeding on the ground, shooting multiple people, then running off to shoot two more people? That's called BLOOD LUST. I don't think "sorry" is going to excuse that. Disapointedly, lying about it keeps you out of jail for 10 years, and postings on NOLA.com can nullify the long delayed guilty verdict when it finally comes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sister

    This is the story of police violence 6 days after Katrina. This was the body count when the shooting stopped on the Danziger Bridge in NOLA: one 40 year old man with the mind of a child, dead; one 17 year old, shot from his feet to his head, dead; one woman with her right arm hanging on by skin; her daughter shot in the stomach; her husband shot; her nephew shot so badly the EMTs doing triage were going to ignore him. All unarmed, all black. Shot by police officers operating on little sleep, lit This is the story of police violence 6 days after Katrina. This was the body count when the shooting stopped on the Danziger Bridge in NOLA: one 40 year old man with the mind of a child, dead; one 17 year old, shot from his feet to his head, dead; one woman with her right arm hanging on by skin; her daughter shot in the stomach; her husband shot; her nephew shot so badly the EMTs doing triage were going to ignore him. All unarmed, all black. Shot by police officers operating on little sleep, little food & no command structure in place. Ronnie Greene gives you the background on the shooting victims , the police shooters & all who cooperated in the massive cover-up that followed. It us an important book to read, but you will not be happy when you finish. Angry beyond measure, infuriated, yes. Read it anyway.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Les Gehman

    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 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katrina K

    Goodreads win. Will read and review once received. So I will say this I went into this book with an open mind. I am a person who will stand behind most police officers. Not all police officers are crooked like most people/media seems to be making them out to be nowadays. They put their lives on the line everyday and of course they want to go home to their families not be killed. Anyways, onto the matter at hand. This book was pretty interesting. It was written well and the author did a good job o Goodreads win. Will read and review once received. So I will say this I went into this book with an open mind. I am a person who will stand behind most police officers. Not all police officers are crooked like most people/media seems to be making them out to be nowadays. They put their lives on the line everyday and of course they want to go home to their families not be killed. Anyways, onto the matter at hand. This book was pretty interesting. It was written well and the author did a good job of writing about what happened. It was an easy read. I was surprise to have never heard of this event on the news. This book I would admit is a must read. I could see myself reading it again. I would gladly recommend this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Our justice system is broken, and I've known this since the first day I worked with poor black students, but still: This was possibly the most depressing, fucked up thing I've ever read, made somehow more depressing by Greene's totally emotionless reporting. There are no judgments here - only the cold reporting of facts and event details - which somehow makes the whole justice system look all the more callous. To be a police officer in New Orleans is to be impervious to judgment when it comes to Our justice system is broken, and I've known this since the first day I worked with poor black students, but still: This was possibly the most depressing, fucked up thing I've ever read, made somehow more depressing by Greene's totally emotionless reporting. There are no judgments here - only the cold reporting of facts and event details - which somehow makes the whole justice system look all the more callous. To be a police officer in New Orleans is to be impervious to judgment when it comes to the mistreatment - and murder - of black citizens. Still, we learn nothing. [Four stars for being so well-researched, minus a half star for being so fucking depressing, makes three and a half stars.]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lorrie

    This book was an expose of egregious crimes, including the murders of 2 unarmed and innocent civilians, one of which had the mentality of a 5-year-old, and an elaborate cover-up perpetrated by multiple New Orleans police officers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I was deeply troubled and appalled by what these police officers did on the Danziger Bridge, but was absolutely infuriated by the cover-up, further victimizing the victims and their families. We all want to stand by those who we This book was an expose of egregious crimes, including the murders of 2 unarmed and innocent civilians, one of which had the mentality of a 5-year-old, and an elaborate cover-up perpetrated by multiple New Orleans police officers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I was deeply troubled and appalled by what these police officers did on the Danziger Bridge, but was absolutely infuriated by the cover-up, further victimizing the victims and their families. We all want to stand by those who wear the badge, acknowledging that sometimes they have only seconds to make life or death decisions. However, this story is of a brazenly corrupt-to-the-core police force that will have you seething with disgust. Reader beware.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Delta

    It's always emotionally draining to read these horrific stories in books or the newspaper, or see them in the news. It's one of the reasons I rarely read historical fiction and historical non-fiction. This one is especially sad because it happened so recently and so close to my home. I'm giving 3-stars for the way Greene wrote the story, not the story itself. I thought his writing style was too bombastic for my taste in journalism. I prefer a straight-forward and objective. **I received a copy of It's always emotionally draining to read these horrific stories in books or the newspaper, or see them in the news. It's one of the reasons I rarely read historical fiction and historical non-fiction. This one is especially sad because it happened so recently and so close to my home. I'm giving 3-stars for the way Greene wrote the story, not the story itself. I thought his writing style was too bombastic for my taste in journalism. I prefer a straight-forward and objective. **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

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