CNN announced that it will be rebroadcasting “CNN Presents: Katrina Killings” Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th at 8pm ET. The special originally aired last Friday as an AC 360 Special.
In the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina, two men died after skirmishes with New Orleans police officers. In a new investigative documentary, CNN Presents: Katrina Killings, correspondent Drew Griffin reports on the clouded circumstances surrounding the deaths of Danny Brumfield and Ronald Madison and whether the New Orleans police officers involved in both cases may have committed murder.
Katrina Killings airs on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. All times Eastern.
“One year after Hurricane Katrina, our production teams have revealed the facts, spoken for those who cannot and reported where injustices remain,” said Mark Nelson, vice president and senior executive producer of CNN Productions.
By the time Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and waters breached New Orleans’ levees, city police were in as much trouble as other citizens. Trapped in their own flooded homes and isolated police stations, sometimes under fire and under siege by armed gangs, officers were stranded with infrequently working communications equipment and few supplies.
“Everybody knows the worst case scenario,” said Officer Ricci Fayard. “But I knew this one was ours.”
Griffin reports that while some officers tried to maintain order in the city, others contributed to the mayhem, some deserted their posts in the city’s hour of need and others joined in criminal behavior. At the Amerihost Hotel, a band of rogue cops took over the tenth floor and, the owner and witnesses say, became violent guests and accumulated looted goods, “everything from Adidas shoes to Rolex watches,” said Osman Khan, the hotel’s owner. The officers remain assigned to desk duty while federal authorities investigate the charges.
In another incident, the family of Danny Brumfield claims New Orleans police killed the 47-year-old grandfather for no reason as he was trying to keep his family safe and together in the chaos of the Morial Convention Center. Police contend Brumfield approached a police car, brandished a weapon and then jumped up on the hood of their patrol car. No one disputes that police shot and killed Brumfield, but disagreements remain about whether they were justified in taking his life.
Ronald Madison was another man killed by police bullets amid post-Katrina chaos. Madison’s brother, Lance, claims the two men were trying to find shelter on the Danziger Bridge when they were caught in a police firefight. Police say the officers involved were shooting in self-defense. Lance Madison says he and his brother were never armed during the incident, but were hunted down and shot at by police. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s report says that Ronald Madison was shot seven times – five shots in his back, two in his shoulder. One year later, the case remains in dispute before a New Orleans criminal court.