For Landry, the incident is proof that his agents can make a mark in cases where NOPD officers are hamstrung by what he called a "hug-a-thug" federal consent decree. He said NOPD policy would have prevented officers from embarking on the pursuit. "It places virtual handcuffs on the NOPD," he said of the department's sweeping reform agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. "That is not going to take violent criminals off the street. It has a plethora of problems."Is he clear on just what the consent decree is supposed to have "hamstrung" NOPD from doing?
The reforms aim to transform a culture mired in excessive force, unconstitutional searches and seizures and discriminatory policing, according to a copy [pdf] of the decree posted online. The NOPD has long been plagued by allegations of corruption and brutality, which resurfaced after the storm.Maybe these are the thugs he wants to hug.
FRONTLINE has been investigating six cases of questionable post-Katrina police shootings for more than two years with our partners at ProPublica and the Times-Picayune. Federal investigations were opened in all six cases; 10 officers were convicted or pleaded guilty in the shootings of six unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge and ensuing cover-up, and three more were convicted for shooting civilian Henry Glover, burning a car containing his body and covering up the incident. (One of the convictions was overturned and the two remaining officers have filed appeals.) Another officer was convicted for shooting civilian Danny Brumfield outside the convention center where evacuees gathered in the storm’s aftermath.