"Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina"

Sep 28, 2015

On this edition of ST, we speak Ronnie Greene, an investigative journalist for the Associated Press who also teaches graduate writing at Johns Hopkins University. Greene tells us about his new book, "Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina." This work explores one of the most dramatic cases of police violence seen in our country in recent years; a few days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, two citizens who were crossing a bridge in New Orleans were shot and killed by police officers who were basically operating -- admittedly under extreme stress, and amid citywide chaos -- in a "shoot first, ask questions later" manner. Others were harmed in this nightmarish incident, including a mother who had her arm shot off, and in carefully profiling the event Greene also reveals the fear that gripped a city slid into anarchy, the dire circumstances that led all of the persons involved to this bridge in the first place, and the shocking police cover-up that nearly buried the truth of this encounter. As was noted by Kirkus Reviews: "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."