The families of New Orleans residents who lost their lives at the hands of police following Hurricane Katrina are finally receiving settlement payouts from the city.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced on Monday that a total of 17 plantiffs will receive settlement payments totaling $13.3 million in connection wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits filed against the city in 2005, according to NPR. The payments will reportedly be distributed among those harmed and the families of those killed in three fatal police confrontations.
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Mayor Landrieu offered apologies to all who were victimized by the killings and for the subsequent cover up efforts by police, shortly after announcing the settlement. “In some small way, the lives that have been maimed and the lives have been taken were not lives that were or will be lived in vain,” Landrieu said at a press conference. “The people standing behind you have chosen to give us the grace and the blessing of forgiveness for what it is that happened to them.”
Among those killed during the incidents was Raymond Robair, who was brutally beaten to death by a police officer and Henry Glover, who was shot to death by law enforcement while standing outside of a shopping center following the devastating hurricane. The third incident resulted in six unarmed civilians being shot by police, two of them fatally, when officers opened fire during a confrontation on the city’s Danziger Bridge.
Four of the five officers directly invovled with the shooting received prison sentences of more than 30 years each, while the fifth officer, who helped cover up the inhumane killings, was sentenced to 6 years in prison.