Crime & Safety,
February 25th, 2010
John McCusker / The Times-Picayune
Nola.com / Times-Picayune:
a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former New Orleans police supervisor
pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday, confessing
that he participated in a conspiracy to justify the shooting of six unarmed people after Hurricane Katrina that was hatched not long after police stopped firing their weapons.
The guilty plea of Lt. Michael Lohman, who retired from the department
earlier this month, contains explosive details of the alleged cover-up
and ramps up the legal pressure on police officers involved in the shooting
and subsequent investigation. It’s unclear when Lohman’s cooperation
with federal authorities began, but he presumably is prepared to
testify against the officers he says helped him lie about the
circumstances of a shooting he immediately deemed a “bad shoot.“
Lohman, who pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to obstruct
justice, admits he failed to order the collection of evidence or
canvassing of witnesses, helped craft police reports riddled with false
information, participated in a plan to plant a gun under the bridge and
lied to investigators who questioned police actions.
A spokesman for NOPD
Superintendent Warren Riley said the chief did not
have a comment about the guilty plea. Bob Young said Riley stands by
the quote he made Tuesday, as news of the guilty plea broke. “We hope
that justice is served,” he said then.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Ray Nagin did not respond to a request for comment.