Race hate charge for man accused of firing shotgun at black men fleeing Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
A man who allegedly fired a shotgun at three black people trying to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been charged with committing a hate crime.
Roland Bourgeois Jr, a 47-year-old white man, was charged in a five-count indictment with firing a shotgun at the men in New Orleans’ historic Algiers Point neighbourhood.
The trio were on the south side of the Mississippi River when they tried to leave the centre of the city after the August 2005 hurricane.
Bourgeois and others discussed shooting black people and defending the neighbourhood from ‘outsiders’ after the storm, the indictment said.
He allegedly bragged that he ‘got’ one after the shooting, then retrieved a bloody baseball cap belonging to one of the victims.
‘When (he) was advised that the man he had shot was still alive, Bourgeois referred to the injured man using a racial epithet and threatened he would kill him,’ the indictment said.
Bourgeois also warned a black resident of Algiers Point that ‘anything coming up this street darker than a brown paper bag is getting shot’.
The case against Bourgeois is one of several post-Katrina investigations opened by the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
On Tuesday, six current and former New Orleans police officers were indicted on federal civil rights charges stemming from deadly shootings on a bridge.
The shootings left two men dead and four wounded. In one instance, a mentally disabled man was shot in the back and stamped on before he died.
Sergeants Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon were charged with deprivation of rights under colour of law and use of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
The indictment claims Faulcon shot 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who had severe mental disabilities, in the back as he ran away on the west side of the bridge.
All six officers are charged with participating in a subsequent cover-up. Source: Dailymail