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56 posts categorized "New Orleans"

March 06, 2007

Gingrich blames "lack of citizenship" for Katrina deaths

The CPAC conference proclaims itself the "intellectual cornerstone of our modern conservative movement."

Here's what Newt Gingrich self-proclaimed student of history told CPAC about Hurricane Katrina.

How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane. [Audio]

Facing South takes Newt to task for his racist revisionism and sets the record straight.


January 02, 2007

Seven NOLA cops indicted for Katrina shootings

Seven New Orleans police officers turned themselves in at the city jail Tuesday, having been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the Danziger Bridge shootings after Hurricane Katrina. Four officers face first-degree murder charges, and three others have been charged with attempted murder :

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Seven policemen charged in a deadly shooting in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina turned themselves in Tuesday at the city jail, where more than 200 supporters greeted them in a show of solidarity.

Each of the indicted men faces at least one charge of murder or attempted murder in the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings on the Danziger Bridge less than a week after the hurricane hit New Orleans. Two people died and four people were wounded. [AP]

The officers maintain their innocence. The AP doesn't mention this, but the Times Picayune notes that counter-protesters also showed up to watch the officers surrender.

The alleged crimes took place the week after Hurricane Katrina, while most of New Orleans was still under water. According to initial reports, the police killed a group of snipers who had been shooting at relief contractors on September 4, 2005. However, within months, the official story was called into question by survivors from two New Orleans families who came under fire on the bridge that day.

One teenaged victim says he was shot several times for no reason, at least once at point-blank range. A 40-year-old retarded man and a teenager died of their wounds. Four other civilians were injured in the shooting. Allegedly, a gun was found on the scene the next day but there is no evidence that it belonged to any of the victims.

John Burnett of NPR did an excellent piece on the Danziger shootings and the federal civil rights lawsuits launched against the police.

(This photograph by fotogail was taken a few months post-Katrina, but it's not connected to the Danziger Bridge incident.)

December 02, 2006

Insurance firm to cancel all commerical policies in NOLA

Scout Prime of First Draft has some very bad news about New Orleans:

St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc., Louisiana's largest commercial insurance provider, plans to cancel all its commercial property policies in the New Orleans area next year, sparking fears that other insurers will follow and slow the region's economic recovery.

The carrier's sudden decision not to renew any polices for businesses in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard or eastern St. Tammany parishes. Some firms in other parts of South Louisiana, including St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes, may also have a harder time getting insurance with St. Paul Travelers.

The company claims that it is pulling out because of the sorry state of the levees of New Orleans. (Not an implausible rationale, given the state of the levees.) However, cynics note that the pullout follows on the heels of a court decision giving flood insurance policy owners the right to seek flood-related damages through other kinds of policies. The company insists that the pullout has nothing to do with the recent legal clarification of policy-holders' rights.

Analysts worry that other insurance companies will follow St. Paul's lead and pull out of New Orleans.

This is a very serious situation. If businesses can't get insurance, many will close, or never reopen. If businesses close, New Orleans will lose jobs, goods and services, and tax revenues.

A commercial insurance coverage crisis could doom the reconstruction effort in New Orleans.

September 08, 2006

Journalist Greg Palast faces criminal charges from DHS

Journalist Greg Palast may face criminal charges for photographing "national security site" while filming a documentary about Hurricane Katrina:

Yes, the rumor’s true. Greg Palast is facing a criminal complaint from the Department of Homeland Security stemming from his filming the Hurricane Katrina investigation for Link TV and Democracy Now. The film’s producer, Matt Pascarella, is also facing the legal wrath of Big Brother.

It appears the complaint is about filming a sensitive national security site owned by Exxon petroleum. It seems that photographing major Bush donors is now a federal offense.

Palast hasn't been arrested, but he has been questioned by the DHS.

September 07, 2006

Orleans Parish Prison documentary

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Here's a link to a remarkable BBC documentary, Prisoners of Katrina, available in full online.

[Hat tip to Brownfemipower.]

August 29, 2006

Chairs facing out

The Convention Center in New Orleans, approximately 48 hours after the last of the evacuees had been taken to safety.

Stairway to Nowhere


Stairway to Nowhere, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

A flooded house in the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

Oriental Rugs and dog gumbo


Oriental Rugs, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Standing the the doorway, a hardcore holdout who stayed behind to protect his store after Hurricane Katrina. In the foreground, my colleague Julie.

Hairathon


Hairathon, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Evacuees from Hurricane Katrina enjoying the Hairathon, a complimentary day of beauty sponsored by the Alden School of Cosmetology in Baton Rouge.

Katrina Evacuees


Hairathon Mom, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Evacuees from New Orleans enjoying a complimentary day of beauty at the Alden School of Cosmetology in Baton Rouge shortly after Hurricane Katrina.