Witness Says Officer Stomped On Dying Man During Katrina
New Orleans Police Officer Stomped On Dying Man During Katrina
A government witness told prosecutors Wednesday that he saw a New Orleans police officer fire randomly into a crowd of people before angrily stomping on a man as he lay dying.
Michael Hunter took the stand this week to relay the shocking news in the case of Sgt. Kenneth Bowen of the New Orleans Police Department.
As previously reported, Bowen and several other officers are accused of opening fire on unarmed civilians on the city's Danziger Bridge during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Prosecutors say the officers shot at the first people they saw, innocent civilians looking for food and supplies. When the assault ended, two people were dead and four others were injured.
One of those people killed was 40-year-old Ronald Madison, a mentally disabled man, who Hunter says he saw Bowen stomp on the back f as he lay dying from gunshot wounds from a shotgun.
Hunter said Bowen later apologized after he angrily confronted him for stomping on Madison.
"I was out of line," Bowen said, according to Hunter.
We're not animals like them. We don't do that," Hunter recalled how he responded.
Hunter has already been sentenced to eight years in prison and is one of five former officers who pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up.
When asked why he fired at the unarmed civilians, Hunter told prosecutors that he didn't feel threatened but fired at them because he was angry and "wanted to send a message."
"What was it?" a federal prosecutor asked Hunter.
"Don't mess with us," Hunter said.
He later said he and several other officers met at a makeshift police station to work on a cover-up.