Katrina Article 1
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Katrina Article 1

Trial of "Katrina's Killer Kops" Nears

Family of retired Sgt. Gerard Dugué claims he's innocent

EXCLUSIVE: Special to Online Sentinel International (OSI)

by Firpo Carr

Thursday, August 26, 2010 (OSI)--Though no date has been set as of this writing indications are that the federal trial of those dubbed "Katrina's Killer Kops" will soon be underway. Officers from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) have confessed to committing murder upon unarmed Black residents crossing the Danziger Bridge as these attempted to flee the wrath of Hurricane Katrina some five years ago.

Among indicted officers is retired NOPD police supervisor Sgt. Gerard Dugué, who was assigned to investigate the killings. Though he has been accused of participating in a cover-up, having been formally charged with "obstruction of justice," he denies all charges.

According to the Associated Press (AP), "The indictment charges Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon with deprivation of rights under color of law and use of a weapon during the commission of a crime."

The AP further reports: "Sgt. Arthur Kaufman and retired Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who helped investigate the shootings, were charged with participating in a cover-up to make it appear the shootings were justified."

In this Online Sentinel International (OSI) exclusive, family members spoke with the present reporter. They claim that, not only was Dugué nowhere near the bridge at the time, but also that when he investigated the incidents some two months after the tragic events occurred, he simply wrote what the officers reported to him.

"He had to rely on these secondhand interviews," says younger brother Edward Dugué of New Orleans. "As it turned out, the information was false. The officers lied to him. That's what got me upset."

Libby Dugué, the youngest of eleven Dugué children, describes her brother's work ethic: "He was an excellent officer with a stellar record of over 33 years of police service. He had an outstanding reputation for fighting against injustices. That's why they selected him to investigate in the first place. And now they've indicted him! It's incomprehensible."

Wayne Dugué, another younger brother, states that he was "pissed" when he heard of the indictment. "How in the hell can he cover up something that he knew nothing about. He got the news like everybody else and simply documented the stories he was given. It's a sad situation. It makes you wonder what the hell the government is thinking."

This is the first in a series of weekly scheduled articles (usually with a Tuesday release, but with possible varying weekdays) dealing with pre-trial matters. As the case is litigated and related stories develop OSI will keep its readers informed.