Lawyers for five former New Orleans police officers who won new trials in connection with deadly shootings after Hurricane Katrina are raising questions about when a federal prosecutor learned of a colleague’s anonymous online postings.
In September, a judge said postings by prosecutor Karla Dobinski were among the reasons he granted a new trial to officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge case.
Defense lawyers asked Thursday to have Bobbi Bernstein questioned about whether she knew about Dobinski’s posts before they were made known to the court on May 15.
The Justice Department responded to emailed requests for comment with a statement: “The department believes the jury verdict in the case was fair and accurate and is appealing the court’s order granting a new trial. The government will respond to allegations in the appropriate forum at the appropriate time.”
Less than a week after Katrina’s 2005 landfall and the levee breaches that plunged parts of the city into chaos, police shot and killed two unarmed people and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge.
Former police Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and former officers Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon were convicted of federal charges in the shootings and a subsequent cover-up. Retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was assigned by the Police Department to investigate the case, wasn’t charged in the shootings but was convicted of orchestrating the cover-up.