Expert Testifies That Katrina Victims Were Shot Repeatedly

Expert Testifies That Katrina Victims Were Shot Repeatedly

Forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio testifies that James Brissette was shot three additional times after he suffered a gunshot wound to his head.

Published July 15, 2011

The trial against five New Orleans police officers continues, and it doesn’t appear to be going in the officers’ favor.


On Thursday, a forensic pathologist testified that a teenager was shot to the ground by a shotgun wound to the head, and then he was shot an additional three times while lying face down.


Dr. Vincent Di Maio’s testimony comes after jurors were told that no weapons were found on any of the victims and that the police tried to plant a gun, fabricate witnesses and falsify reports that the shots were justified.


Currently five offers are on trial for the shooting deaths of unarmed persons on the Danziger Bridge days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Last year a jury convicted three NOLA police officers for the death of Henry Glover, a man shot down by a police officer following Katrina and whose body was purposely burned in a car by another police officer.


Dr. Di Maio said that 17-year-old James Brisssette was shot six times by at least three different weapons. His testimony supports the prosecution’s claim that the New Orleans police shot unarmed victims.


One of the former officers, Michael Hunter, who has pleaded guilty, says that he saw one of the officers on trial, Sergeant Kenneth Bowen, lean over the barrier and randomly spray gunfire at wounded people.


Di Maio says that 40-year-old mentally disabled Ronald Madison also died of wounds from a single shotgun hit to the back.


The pathologist says that his conclusions are based on autopsy reports, x-rays of the dead bodies and photos taken at the scene.



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(Photo: Carlos Barria/Landov)

Written by Danielle Wright


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