The Dugué Defense: Part 5.
by Firpo Carr
Online Sentinel International
Desperately Seeking Dugué
. March 16, 2011, Los Angeles, California--No matter how hard federal prosecutors try to get a firm grip on their sham case against retired
Sgt. Gerard Dugué of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), finding a legitimate complaint against the long-time
public servant is analogous to having oil in their hands that seeps through their clinched fists. Day by day the bogus case
slips further away. One could only imagine how frustrated they must be.
Realizing the paucity of "evidence" against Dugué, prosecutors from the U.S. Justice
Department are desperately scurrying about in an embarrassing attempt to drum up more oil. According to a New Orleans Times-Picayune
article dated March 3, 2011, "federal investigators have actively re-examined the decade-old fatal shooting of 28-year-old
Sylvester Scott in a Gert Town alley."
"actively" re-examining the Scott case, prosecutors now accuse Dugué of "orchestrating" a cover-up
in the 2001 Gert Town shooting, "according to documents filed in federal court," reports the Picayune.
after serving for over 30 years the very city Dugué and his siblings grew up in, the FBI, with all of the resources
of the United States at its fingertips, could only come up with what they are hoping is a case remotely similar to the Danzinger
Bridge incident? One has to wonder if taxpayers' dollars could be better spent.
At any rate, let's take a very close look at the Justice Department's latest salvo.
First, by way of reminder, Sgt. Arthur Kaufman wrote
the seriously flawed initial police report that the Justice Department is basing its case upon, and in the process, ‘orchestrated'
the Danzinger Bridge cover-up well over a month before Dugué was ever assigned to the case.
The article further reads in part: "Dugué, a longtime homicide detective who
handled many officer-involved shooting probes, cleared Bowen of wrongdoing....[Prosecutors] further argued that Dugué
massaged witness statements, failed to ask critical questions of the officers and purposefully mishandled evidence to ensure
that Bowen could be cleared in the department's internal investigation." Several points can be made here.
Second, the Picayune, like documents filed by federal
prosecutors, uses prejudicial language that tends to incriminate. For example, the paper asserts that since Dugué was
"a longtime homicide detective who handled many officer-involved shooting probes," he possessed the authority to
‘clear Bowen of wrongdoing.'
Dugué's superiors could ‘clear' Bowen of wrongdoing; predicated, of course, in part on a report Dugué
wrote which itself was based on Bowen's testimony-whether said testimony is truthful or not. Keep in mind, Bowen lied MONUMENTALLY
about his part in the Danzinger Bridge shootings that happened just a few short years after his Gert Town officer-involved
shooting. In the Danzinger Bridge report, here's how Bowen's sworn recorded statement is described. Remember, EVERYTHING
he states is all a highly fabricated lie as per his co-conspirators and FBI investigators:
[Bowen] stated the subjects immediately went for cover, while arming themselves, and fired
upon the officers. The subjects then all jumped behind a cement barrier for cover to ambush the officers exiting the rear
of the truck. To protect his own life and the lives of the other officers exiting the truck, Sergeant Bowen stated he fired
several shots into the concrete barrier to deter the subjects from standing and aiming at the officers. Sergeant Bowen mentioned
he began to shout to the subjects to throw their weapons off the side of the bridge. Sergeant Bowen related he observed a
young male subject jump from the bridge onto the grassy area several feet below, to flee. Sergeant Bowen mentioned he then
heard gunfire from the immediate area. Officers Faulcon, Villavaso, and Barrios engaged the armed subjects behind the cement
barrier and then ceased firing. Sergeant Bowen also observed two males running west over the bridge, while gunshots could
be heard coming from those two subjects, who were shooting back at the officers on the bridge.
Sergeant Bowen stated he exited the truck and cautiously peeked over the cement
barrier. He observed two dark colored handguns lying on the cement next to stationary subjects. Sergeant Bowen jumped over
the cement barrier and kicked the weapons over the side of the bridge. Sergeant Bowen ran down the bridge and into the tall
grassy area on the side of the bridge to look for the young male subject who fled. While walking through the grassy area next
to the bridge, Sergeant Bowen observed several handguns lying in the grass near the bridge. Sergeant Bowen looked under the
bridge, but did not see the young male. Sergeant Bowen then observed that the young male who had fled off the bridge had been
detained and handcuffed by another NOPD officer, without incident. [End of fairytale.]
It's certainly not difficult to imagine that Bowen would've lied to Dugué about the
Gert Town shooting of Scott as well. This simple fact seems to escape the brilliant minds at the Justice Department.
Third, the Picayune article alleges that,
as per the feds, "Dugué massaged witness statements, failed to ask critical questions of the officers and purposefully
mishandled evidence." Well, let's examine these three accusations one at a time:
"Massaged Witness Statements": This is a desperately vague, self-serving
misinterpretation by the Justice Department. The fact is, since Dugué is so thorough, truthful, fair, and honest,
officers like Bowen wanted to keep him away from witnesses. That's why in the Danzinger Bridge shootings Sgt. Kaufman orchestrated
interviewing two witnesses, James Youngman and Lakeisha Smith.
Furthermore, in his "voluntary" statements to the FBI regarding witnesses in the Danzinger
Bridge shootings, here's what Dugué shared with the feds as per their own court document:
(1) "Dugué found it ‘fishy' that two alleged civilian eyewitnesses
to the incident were not transported back to the makeshift station to give statements";
(2) "Dugué wondered whether these two alleged eyewitnesses
really existed, so he asked Kaufman about the female witness and Kaufman ‘swore to God' that she existed";
(3) "Dugué ‘could not explain'
why one eyewitness was transported to the police station for a statement, but these other two alleged witnesses were not."
Dugué's extremely helpful statements
are not at all consistent with a man who would ‘massage witness statements.' In fact, Dugué went so far as to
volunteer to the FBI that he thought "that officers who were in the Budget truck were ‘important witnesses,' and
‘should have' been identified in the report, even if they did not fire their weapons." Dugué is not as likely
to have massaged anything with the possible exception of the bunion on his foot.
"Failed to ask critical questions of the officers": This sad portrayal,
a desperate grasping for straws (an alleged "sin of omission"), speaks for itself. Even if, in the face of all the
evidence to the contrary, Dugué did indeed ‘fail to ask critical questions of the officers,' that calls for a
poor evaluation when up for review, not a potential multiyear term in a federal prison.
"Purposefully mishandled evidence": Another vague accusation as seen through
the glaringly distorted prism of the FBI. According to the article, prosecutors don't ‘seem' to believe Dugué
is guilty themselves. "Although the gun was packaged to be fingerprinted," says the paper, "prosecutors asserted
that Dugué didn't order fingerprint analysis until the gun had been handled by a ballistics expert, seemingly tainting
the evidence." So, are we to understand that Dugué, this polished criminal mastermind, "seemingly" "mishandled
article goes on to state: "Prosecutors noted that Dugué left the information about the pathologist's conclusions
out of his report about the incident. They also assert he misrepresented a statement by the coroner's chief investigator John
Gagliano. Prosecutors alleged that Dugué falsely stated in his report that Gagliano told the detective that the pathologist's
conclusions supported the police account of the incident."
If indeed Dugué actually "left the information about the pathologist's conclusions out
of his report about the incident," instead of being a legitimate oversight, the FBI apparently sees it as a capital offense.
And, if it's true that Gagliano and Dugué disagree on their recollection of the same conversation, the situation is,
at best, one man's word against another's.
Regrettably, the prosecution has lost its objectivity-if, indeed, it was ever in possession of such-and has
lost its hold on reality. These conclusions can be substantiated by entertaining the following questions:
If Dugué habitually covers up out-of-policy shootings
by NOPD officers, why did Kaufman feel compelled to employ extravagant measures to hide the details of the shootings from
Let's be mindful of the fact that
Dugué dutifully and "voluntarily" went to the feds with extremely helpful information that would lead to
or verify the truth of what really happened on that fateful day on the Danzinger Bridge. Does this action smack of a man who
is fearful that his so-called "co-conspirators" would expose him as one of them?
Put another way, if Dugué was the NOPD's "go to" guy for cover-ups, why,
when they had nothing more to lose, didn't the guilty officers not expose or implicate him when they confessed to FBI investigators?
Let's rephrase it yet again: Since his alleged "co-conspirators"
know that during his "voluntary" interview with the FBI in September 2009 he provided incriminating evidence against
them, why hasn't any one of them shot back with just ONE instance of Dugué having covered up an alleged plethora of
police shootings over his span of over three decades with the NOPD?
After all, Kaufman's old friend Detective Jeff Lehrmann "ratted him out" when under the
gun. According to a document filed by prosecutors (Case 2:10-cr-00204-KDE-SS Document 117 Filed 10/26/10 Page 8 of 23): "Former-Detective
Jeff Lehrmann will testify about conversations he had with other defendants, in which he and the other defendants discussed
the object of the conspiracy. As just one example, Lehrmann will testify that, after obtaining a gun from his own garage,
Kaufman announced his intention to plant the gun in the Danziger case."
Why didn't Lehrmann rat Dugué out?
The fact is, even when justified on many occasions in his career spanning three decades,
it is the understanding of the present researcher that Sgt. Dugué has NEVER fired his weapon. While ensuring the safety
of the public, his partner, and himself, he has consistently and conscientiously upheld the value of human life. But, let
the government tell it, not only does he turn a blind eye to those who wantonly take human life, he goes so far as to protect
them when they do so!
hypothesis fallacy "is the formulation of a complex or unlikely explanation for an event when a simpler explanation would
do," says the college textbook Critical Thinking. "A principle called 'Ockham's razor' states that the
simplest explanation for an event is to be preferred over a more complex one, so long as the simpler one is adequate."
The textbook goes on to say: "The principle of Ockham's razor has shown itself to be a good thinking principle over the
centuries." It appears that government prosecutors want to bring this "good thinking principle" to an abrupt
halt here at the start of the present century.
government is giving us stellar examples of informal inductive fallacies. The downside is, again, it's doing so at taxpayer
It seems as if the Justice
Department is concerned that an innocent man just might escape injustice. Irony abounds.
Please stay tuned. There's plenty more to come in the defense of Gerard Dugué.