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Sheila & Gerard Dugué

 

 

The Dugué Defense: Part 7

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by Firpo Carr

Online Sentinel International -- The Firpo Files

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Death, Delay & Dugue: Courting Collateral Damage 

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September 29, 2011, Los Angeles, California--Regrettably, in far too many wars and conflicts around the globe, innocent civilians are killed. They are identified by the military industrial complex as "collateral damage." An insensitive expression, to be sure. Here on the home front, in the battle between the United States Justice Department and retired New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Sgt. Gerard Dugué in connection with the Danziger Bridge incident, collateral damage may have manifested itself in the person of Timothy McGruder, Sr.

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Sadly, after serving over three decades in law enforcement, McGruder, who was not in the best of health, died on September 7, 2011. The significance of his death is that the stress of seeing his childhood friend, Sgt. Dugué, falsely charged with covering up the Danziger Bridge shootings may have ultimately contributed to his demise. In short, he may well have been victimized by "friendly fire" from the Justice Department.

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Death: "Gerard & I have been friends forever," McGruder wrote me on Sunday, August 14, 2011, just three weeks before his death. "His Dad introduced my Mom & Dad together. We played together as children & graduated from high school together. After attending college I joined the NOPD & stayed for 9 yrs. I then joined the La. State Police where I retired after 24.5 yrs. Gerard's reputation as an officer & a man is beyond reproach. He is not only my best friend, we are brothers. He & Sheila are my family."

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When I was sent the link to his online obituary I signed on and wrote the following: "My heart is particularly heavy as I write this message. This is because I never returned Timothy McGruder's email dated August 14, 2011. In it he charged to the rescue of his falsely accused best friend, retired NOPD Sgt. Gerard Dugué. Though very ill, Tim mustered up enough strength to vigorously attest to Gerard's impeccable character. His action compels me to stay the course as I fight for the dignity of an innocent man in the person of Gerard Dugué. I am determined never to allow Tim's bold and courageous move to go unrewarded. My humble prayers are with his family and friends, including all the good, hardworking people in law enforcement and other branches of the legal system. Jehovah's blessings."

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Delay: Some think the good Lord spared McGruder the misery of seeing the Dugué trial strung out for several more months. The fact is, each day that goes by takes an immeasurable toll on the family. Maybe that's the strategy federal prosecutors have worked out. Whatever the case, the trial set for September 26, 2011, has now been continued to January 23, 2012--assuming, of course, that the Mayan calendar is correct and the world doesn't end earlier in the month instead of later that year.

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The fact is, since his life will never return to the same sense and semblance of normalcy, the glorious world of retired Sgt. Gerard Dugué has already ended on so many levels, thanks to the baseless federal charges against him.

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Dugué: From top to bottom, the entire Danziger Bridge incident is permeated with racism and discrimination. If those were White citizens of New Orleans innocently crossing the Danziger Bridge, none of this would have happened. But, as it is, they were Black. So too bad for them. And the last of the potentially Black victims is none other than retired Sgt. Gerard Dugué. And, to some observers, guilty Whites and Jews in the case seemed to be afforded certain favors denied guilty Black officers.

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Although the prosecution--led by Barbara "Bobbi" Bernstein, with an obvious Jewish surname--knows that Dugué is completely innocent, apparently they worked out a deal with Lehrmann, another Jew, to have him testify against Dugué in exchange for a reduction in his sentencing; this in spite of the fact that Lehrmann has demonstrated that he has nothing on "Gerard the Good." If he did, he would have said so when he spilled the beans on his good friend and fellow Jew, Sgt. Kaufman, who is walking around a free man while awaiting sentencing.

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Lying Lehrmann?: Recall that I wrote the following in "The Dugué Defense: Part 5": "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.'" The very pertinent question I asked was: "Why didn't Lehrmann rat Dugué out?"

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None of the above prevented federal prosecutors from moving forward with trying to engineer a case against Dugué, using Lehrmann as a tool. Ostensibly, to this end, they presented a motion to Judge Lance Africk to reduce Lehrmann's sentence as a reward for his cooperation. What was the judge's response?

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The New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper (September 16, 2011) notes that "U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk on Thursday denied the request, writing that Lehrmann came forward and admitted to a role in the vast cover-up only after hearing ‘the footsteps of an expansive federal investigation.'" Truer words have never been spoken. The inescapable fact is, if Lehrmann testifies that Dugué took part in the cover-up, he'll be lying.

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The Picayune continues: "‘Apparently, Mr. Lehrmann's conscience waited approximately four years to reveal itself,' Africk wrote. The judge also stated that Lehrmann had already been 'sufficiently rewarded' for his cooperation and that other Danziger defendants, who were convicted last month at trial, all face far more severe sentences." The bottom line is this: If Lehrmann had something against Dugué, the feds would have tried him with the others just as they tried Dugué's fellow investigator Sgt. Kaufman, who really did participate and orchestrate a cover-up. They would not have separated Dugué's trial from the others.

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The bottom line is that Lehrmann has already unloaded. He's out of ammo. Even so, the prosecution is now suggesting that he had a clip hidden away because he knew "four years" ago (according to Judge Africk) that the feds were going to ask him to rat out Dugué.

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In effect, prosecutors are saying that Lehrmann had the incredible foresight to know that the distressed prosecution team would be denied motion after motion in its vain attempt to pen something on Dugué, and was perceptive enough to save one last poker chip during his gambling game of gullible guilt to bail them out? If you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you--the Danziger Bridge. You can even rename it after yourself. 

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Dugué's Computer Seized: Keep in mind that long before Dugué was ill-advisedly charged, the FBI appeared unannounced, raided his office, and immediately seized his computer as evidence. They also seized Sgt. Kaufman's computer. While they found incriminating evidence in the form of files and emails on Kaufman's computer, they didn't find one shrewd of damning evidence on Dugué's. Having worked as a computer forensic specialist--a Systems Analyst II with the Los Angeles Police Department--I can testify that this is immeasurably significant. EVERYTHING on Dugué's computer was in order, clearly reflecting the work ethic of an honest police investigator!

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Dugué Cutting a Deal?: This writer has heard that federal prosecutors met with Dugué and his attorney to cut a deal. The deal? Dugué lies, saying that he did in fact participate in a cover-up in exchange for a light sentence! Of course, Dugué and his attorney, reportedly shocked out of their wits, refused the offer. So, as it is, it appears that, along with certain racist Whites, three Jews--Kaufman, Lehrmann, and Bernstein--are attempting to close in on Dugué for the kill.  

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And in the case of Bernstein's latest judicial offering involving Lehrmann, this isn't the first time a judge denied a prosecutorial motion. Although reportedly sealed, it has come to this columnist's attention that the prosecution is fretting so much that they asked that at least one past case Dugué investigated be allowed as a consideration during his trial. The judge flatly refused. Why? Because there was absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing on Dugué's part, and the very astute judge recognized a stubbornly frantic prosecutorial team that's quickly running out of options.  

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Finally, a few questions for the prosecution: Do you really think the severe emotional impact a delay has on Dugué, his family and friends, will cause him to confess to a crime he didn't commit? Does it matter to you that fair-minded invisible victims of all races (Jews, Blacks, Whites, and others) are sickened by your prosecutorial abuse? Lastly, What is the Justice Department's threshold for collateral damage?

Click here for Sgt. Gerard Dugué's background