The Times-Picayune, working with ProPublica and Frontline, have been running a powerful, devastating, series of articles this week. They have mounted what appears to be exhaustive investigations of shootings by the New Orleans Police Department in the days after Katrina. According to the reporters, "At least ten people were shot by New Orleans police in the week after Hurricane Katrina. This series focuses on four incidents that have never been fully examined."
As we've written in this space before, the Times-Picayune is about four years late on this story. Of course, the Picayune also waited until after hundreds of other newspapers from around the world had covered the Jena Six before they felt the need to send a reporter there, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.
Still, this is a vital story, and very well done. Our hope is that this media focus combined with investigations from the Department of Justice will create the public pressure for the real, systemic, changes the NOPD needs. It is hard to rebuild and recover if you don't have a foundation of justice to build on.