Former NOPD cops plead guilty in Danziger Bridge case

Former NOPD cops plead guilty in Danziger Bridge case

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Five police officers involved in the Danziger Bridge shootings returned to federal court this morning to enter guilty pleas on a new plea agreement.

The plea deal has been proposed, but not yet accepted by the judge.

This is the latest twist in a saga that has been playing out since Hurricane Katrina in state and federal court.

The five former NOPD officers were convicted in 2011, but U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt threw out the verdict two years later because of misconduct by the federal prosecutors office, including anonymous online commenting regarding the case.

Today, former officers Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso pleaded guilty for their roles in the deaths of James Brissette and Ronald Madison.

Bowen and Gisevius will serve 10 years, Faulcon 12 years, Villavasso seven years and Kaufman three years. All five men will receive credit for time already served.

They were accused of two shooting deaths on the Danziger Bridge in the frenzied days after Hurricane Katrina.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a statement this afternoon saying that police misconduct will not be tolerated in New Orleans.

"It is unfortunate that New Orleans has had to relive this dark chapter in our city's history, and I hope that the decision today will allow us to finally turn the page and begin to heal," Landrieu said. "Police misconduct and abuse will not be tolerated. That is  why we are implementing a sweeping NOPD federal consent decree to ensure constitutional policing and leading the way with new technology like body worn cameras. Our goal is to have a police department that protects, serves and partners with the community to keep us safe. Today, we remember the victims, pray for their families and reaffirm our commitment to this cause because too much is at stake."

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