A man known to the neighborhood around Felicity and St. Charles as a harmless but friendly mentally-disabled individual was shot Monday afternoon by Sixth District New Orleans Police. Witnesses reported at least ten bullet casings on the ground after police opened fire on the man. Although the police spokesman said that the man lunged at a police officer with a [three inch] knife before he was shot, witnesses all say that the man was backing up when he was shot numerous times by police. Staff at the Burger King nearby say that the victim was a daily customer there, and never hurt or threatened anyone. Onlookers expressed anger at the police for responding with excessive force to the situation, and for taking this man's life unnecessarily. One shouted at police after the incident, "Are your officers not trained to disarm a man with a knife without using lethal force?"
Sixth District officers are already under fire for their excessive behavior in several incidents, including harassment of relief volunteers and unlawful search of peoples' homes. This incident calls into question the legitimacy of a police force known both historically and recently for corruption and brutality.
Pictures from the murder scene
Other incidents of police violence:
Police beating of a relief volunteer
Common Ground Press Conference on Police Accountability
after volunteer Greg Griffith was arrested |
Update from Friends and Families of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children