Named one of the top books of 2015 by NewsOne Now, and named one of the best books of August 2015 by Apple

Winner of the 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award

A harrowing story of blue on black violence, of black lives that seemingly did not matter.

Product Code: 8303
ISBN: 9780807006559
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published Date: 09/06/2016
Availability: Not currently available.
(Backorder policy)
Price: $20.00

On September 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, two groups of people intersected on the Danziger Bridge, a low-rising expanse over the Industrial Canal. One was the police who had stayed behind as Katrina roared near, desperate to maintain control as their city spun into chaos. The other was the residents forced to stay behind with them during the storm and, on that fateful Sunday, searching for the basics of survival: food, medicine, security. They collided that morning in a frenzy of gunfire.

When the shooting stopped, a gentle forty-year-old man with the mind of a child lay slumped on the ground, seven bullet wounds in his back, his white shirt turned red. A seventeen-year-old was riddled with gunfire from his heel to his head. A mother’s arm was blown off; her daughter’s stomach gouged by a bullet. Her husband’s head was pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand. Like all the other victims, he was black—and unarmed.

Before the blood had dried on the pavement, the shooters, each a member of the New Orleans Police Department, and their supervisors hatched a cover-up. They planted a gun, invented witnesses, and charged two of their victims with attempted murder. At the NOPD, they were hailed as heroes.

Shots on the Bridge explores one of the most dramatic cases of police violence seen in our country in the last decade—the massacre of innocent people, carried out by members of the NOPD, in the brutal, disorderly days following Hurricane Katrina. It reveals the fear that gripped the police of a city slid into anarchy, the circumstances that drove desperate survivors to the bridge, and the horror that erupted when the police opened fire. It carefully unearths the cover-up that nearly buried the truth. And finally, it traces the legal maze that, a decade later, leaves the victims and their loved ones still searching for justice.

This is the story of how the people meant to protect and serve citizens can do violence, hide their tracks, and work the legal system as the nation awaits justice.

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PROLOGUE: On the Bridge


CHAPTER 1: A Family's Bond, a Threatening Storm
CHAPTER 2: A Mother's Last Chance
CHAPTER 3: Eleven People, One Van, a Second-Floor Apartment
CHAPTER 4: An Officer, A Baby Due, A Choice
CHAPTER 5: A City Under Water: Survivors Cling to Life, Police Lose Their Grip
CHAPTER 6: 108: Officer in Distress, a Race to the Bridge
CHAPTER 7: The Shots on the Bridge: Lives Intersect—Two Dead, Four Maimed, Endless Barrage of Gunfire
CHAPTER 8: Triage
CHAPTER 9: NOPD Triage: The After Action Reports


CHAPTER 10: The Cover-Up
CHAPTER 11: Shock, Funerals, Police Visits—and a Family’s Quest for Answers
CHAPTER 12: Victims Shine a Legal Light
CHAPTER 13: The District Attorney Brings Charges—and the Police Brotherhood Fights Back
CHAPTER 14: From Narcotics Cop to Police Attorney: An Insider’s View
CHAPTER 15: Judicial Ties, Prosecutorial Error, and the NOPD Walks Free


CHAPTER 16: Conspiracy Cracks Under Federal Glare
CHAPTER 17: USA v. Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso, Kaufman and Dugue
CHAPTER 18: Judgment Time, Judicial Questions—and an Officer’s Shame
CHAPTER 19: In the Courtroom

CHAPTER 20: The Online Commentators
CHAPTER 21: From Prep School to Politics to Danziger: A Judge’s Prayerful Path
CHAPTER 22: Judgment Day: A Mother and Brother Confront the Convicted
CHAPTER 23: The Consent Decree: A History of Police Abuse, Documented
CHAPTER 24: “The Interest of Justice”: The Reversal
EPILOGUE: As a National Civil Rights Movement Stirs, Justice Is on Hold in New Orleans

About the Research

“Ronnie Greene has penetrated the blue code and brought light to one of the horrific cases of police misconduct in modern US history, and the victims' families' passionate and unyielding pursuit for justice in the aftermath of the tragedy of Katrina. His book is a must-read for those who seek reforms today to make urban policing more just and fair.” —Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League

“Greene expertly constructs the narrative of events during the shooting and through the federal trial of the officers involved, who received sentences of up to 65 years. . . .A poignant and skillful examination of a case that adds to the ongoing public debate about corrupt police practices, the militarization of local law enforcement, and convoluted legal decisions.” —Kirkus Reviews

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