NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The man accused of killing an NOPD officer Friday morning, 30-year-old Darren Bridges, has a criminal history that dates back more than a decade. It includes eight felony arrests, four misdemeanor arrests and 30 municipal arrests.
Bridges has been convicted of a felony three times. His other arrests include possession of marijuana, second-degree battery and narcotics charges. In 2012, Bridges was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to six years in prison but was released on good behavior after serving three years.
Before this morning's shooting, most of Bridges' arrest convictions ended with parole sentences.
Last year, Bridges was arrested for battery on his girlfriend. According to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, the woman refused to testify against him and the charges were dropped.
The DA said this is a clear case of where the justice system failed.
"When we see a case like this, we can certainly say that the sentences that were imposed with regard to this individual we were not successful in keeping him out of the criminal justice system," Cannizzaro said. "We failed this individual, and as a result, this person has harmed society in a very very great way. Certainly I would think that if you look at this case and you look at the progression of this case, certainly the criminal justice in system failed the community in preventing this sort of violent act from occurring."
In Louisiana there is a three strikes rule whereby those convicted of a violent felony three times face a life sentence. However, Cannizzaro said Bridges' felony convictions were not all violent crimes and the rule did not apply to him.