NEW ORLEANS—Four New Orleans police officers have beencharged with federal civil rights violations in the deadlyshootings of unarmed people on a bridge in the chaos afterHurricane Katrina, officials said.
The indictment unsealed Tuesday charges Sgts. Robert Giseviusand Kenneth Bowen and officers Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulconwith deprivation of rights under color of law and use of a weaponduring the commission of a crime. They could face the death penaltyif convicted.
Sgts. Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue were charged with joiningthem in a cover-up. Charges against them include making falsestatements.
Five former New Orleans police officers already have pleadedguilty to helping cover up the shootings on the Danziger Bridgethat left two men dead and four wounded just days after the August2005 hurricane.
Those officers said in statements that they saw numerouscivilians lying bloody and wounded on the bridge, but did not seeany guns on or near them.
Their pleas appeared to be laying the foundation for moreserious charges against those accused of actually doing theshooting and engineering the cover-up.
"Put simply, we will not tolerate wrongdoing by those who aresworn to protect the public," Attorney General Eric Holder saidTuesday.
Attorneys for Bowen, Villavaso and Faulcon did not immediatelyreturn phone calls for comment. An attorney for Gisevius declinedcomment until after he had a chance to read the indictment.