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City Council gives Chief of Police $350,000, Chief of Chiefs a heart attack.

06/27/05

Yesterday evening, the New Orleans City Council held a special session to review complaints of police misconduct during the Mardi Gras Indians celebration this past spring. Just moments after speaking of his fifty-two years of involvement with the Indians, Allison ‘Tootie’ Montana, chief of chiefs, fell to a heart attack, surrounded by the other Indian Chiefs and other supporters. Cries of his wife and other loved ones soon filled air, along with hushed sobs and worried whispers. As the minutes dragged on, and CPR was performed by two Douglass student activists from Teens With Attitude, Dominique and Victor, the crowd began to understand the gravity of the situation. When the paramedics arrived, about 12 minutes later, many Mardi Gras Indians in the room rose their voices in a slow and steady rendition of Indian Red. Tootie was then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Following is an on scene account of the entire meeting, in which Chief 'Tootie' Montana spoke his final words “This has got to stop," after describing decades of police violence during the events.



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