Witness: Katrina Victims Weren’t Armed

Witness: Katrina Victims Weren’t Armed

A witness in the trial of five officers accused of killing unarmed New Orleans residents says the Hurricane Katrina victims weren't armed.

Published June 28, 2011

The trial of the five officers who shot and killed two Katrina victims and wounded four others started Monday. Today, however, witness Michael Lohman, a police officer not on trial, said something that threw a curve ball in the case.

Lohman testified that no weapons were in sight of the victims. He additionally revealed that Officer Kenneth Bowen asked about the plausibility of saying that “he had kicked the weapons off the bridge and then someone picked them up later,” reports a local New Orleans station.

Another officer, Sergeant Arthur Kaufman, suggested to Lohman that he had a gun that could be planted on the scene.

Lohman had already pleaded guilty in the case and serves as a key witness for the prosecution. He also reported that any guns that the report claimed to be victims' were made up.

Others who testified today included Stanton Arnold, an EMT worker. He says that he was discouraged from helping one of the shooting victims, though the victim begged him to not give up on helping him.

Currently Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius Jr., Robert Faulcon Jr., Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman are on trial. All face charges related to the incident including conspiracy, weapons charges and obstruction of justice charges.

If convicted the officers could face 25-plus years in prison, like New Orleans officer David Warren, who was convicted in March.


(Photo: Hazir Reka /Landov)

Written by Danielle Wright


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