- DOJ reaches largest-ever federal government settlement over auto loan discrimination
- U.S. Navy to start giving gay couples marriage benefits in Japan
- Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution
- Fla.’s Trey Radel exits rehab, ‘excited’ to resume congressional role
- U.S. nuclear general boozed it up, chased ‘hot women’ in Russia: report
- 45 Calif. students at one school test positive for tuberculosis exposure
- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
Ex-cop says he helped cover up Katrina shootings
Testifies gun was planted
Question of the Day
NEW ORLEANS — A former police detective testified Monday that he participated in a plot to fabricate witnesses, falsify reports and plant a gun to make it seem police were justified in shooting unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.
Jeffrey Lehrmann, a government witness in the federal trial of five current or former officers, said he saw Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman retrieve a gun from his home several weeks after the deadly shootings on the Danziger Bridge. Sgt. Kaufman later turned in the gun as evidence, claiming he found it under the bridge a day after the 2005 shootings, which left two people dead and four others wounded.
Lehrmann said Sgt. Kaufman instructed him to fill out paperwork that claimed the gun belonged to Lance Madison, whose mentally disabled brother, Ronald, was shot and killed on the bridge. Lance Madison was arrested on attempted murder charges and held for more than three weeks before a judge freed him.
“Therefore, we needed a gun,” Lehrmann said.
Lehrmann said Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen joined him and Sgt. Kaufman when they drove to Sgt. Kaufman’s house to retrieve a gun. Sgt. Kaufman emerged from his garage carrying the gun in a brown paper bag, calling it a “ham sandwich,” Lehrmann said.
Lehrmann, who has been sentenced to three years in prison, is one of five former officers who pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up. He is the fourth of those officers to testify at the latest trial, now entering its third week.
Sgt. Kaufman’s attorney, Stephen London, suggested during cross-examination that Lehrmann was trying to shift blame to his client and has changed his story over time. Lehrmann accused the lawyer of “nitpicking,” while Mr. London chided the witness for smiling during his testimony.
“My client is on trial. Is that funny?” Mr. London asked.
“No, it’s not funny at all,” he responded.
On Sept. 4, 2005, Lehrmann drove himself to the Danziger Bridge after a truckload of officers responded to another officer’s distress call and began shooting. He isn’t accused of firing his gun that day.
Lehrmann said the officers immediately started to “get their stories straight.”
“We had a lot of problems because it was a bad shoot,” he said.
“What was the goal of the cover-up?” prosecutor Cindy Chung asked.
By John McAfee
- Breaking Fad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
- D.C. to tout Obamacare among youth waiting for Air Jordans
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- TARGET credit card theft swells to 40 million victims
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Obama: 2014 will be 'breakthrough year' for U.S.
- Dems use new filibuster rules to approve DHS nominee Alejandro Mayorkas under investigation
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow