Author Ronnie Greene joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss his book, Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina.
Of Shots on the Bridge from Amazon.com:
On September 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, two groups of people intersected on the Danziger Bridge, a low-rising expanse over the Industrial Canal. One was the police who had stayed behind as Katrina roared near, desperate to maintain control as their city spun into chaos. The other was the residents forced to stay behind with them during the storm and, on that fateful Sunday, searching for the basics of survival: food, medicine, security. They collided that morning in a frenzy of gunfire.
When the shooting stopped, a gentle forty-year-old man with the mind of a child lay slumped on the ground, seven bullet wounds in his back, his white shirt turned red. A seventeen-year-old was riddled with gunfire from his heel to his head. A mother’s arm was blown off; her daughter’s stomach gouged by a bullet. Her husband’s head was pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand. Like all the other victims, he was black—and unarmed.
Before the blood had dried on the pavement, the shooters, each a member of the New Orleans Police Department, and their supervisors hatched a cover-up. They planted a gun, invented witnesses, and charged two of their victims with attempted murder. At the NOPD, they were hailed as heroes.
Greene told Martin that one of the most striking things about this horrific shooting incident is that “two groups of families — good families trying to survive, who are innocent of everything, who were guilty of nothing more than trying to survive the hurricane — ten years later, justice remains unresolved.”
“It took the families’ initiative to get to the truth. The Madison family, very proud, very strong New Orleans family — one of the brothers was the head of the National Dental Association at one point — this family pushed past the police wall of lies, and it was the families filing lawsuits about a year after the shootings that sort of changed the narrative of what happened.”
Watch Roland Martin and Ronnie Greene discuss Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina in the video clip above.