However, now that we know those tales were exaggerated and the roving bands of thugs were just groups of evacuees looking for shelter, the bridge incident isn't going away:
The Aug. 31 confrontation in which Gretna police blocked the Crescent City Connection, preventing evacuees from fleeing deluged New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, remains under investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti.The discrimination issue aside, why didn't the Gretna police just help these people in need? These weren't people from outside the disaster area trying to get in. They were people from inside the disaster area trying to get out. While so many law enforcement agencies were working together to help those affected by the storm, the Gretna police were refusing aid. I don't get it.
The probe is expected to determine whether the civil rights of evacuees were violated. Foti has said criminal charges could be filed against officers.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, and state Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, have filed a lawsuit against the city of Gretna and its Police Department in federal court, saying the officers used "unreasonable, unnecessary and excessive force while refusing plaintiffs to travel through" the city, violating their rights.
One can only assume that the Gretna police thought the people coming over the bridge looked like trouble. And, if they were going by looks, then the discrimination lawsuit has a chance.