Friday, August 5, 2011
Danziger Officers Found Guilty - Statements of Madison Family
Statement of Lance Madison
I am thankful to have some closure after six long years of struggling for justice. I am most grateful to my family, and especially my brother Romell. Without the support and hard work of my family, I might still be in prison on false charges, and the truth about what happened on the Danziger bridge might never have been known. We will never be completely healed because we will never have Ronald back.We hope that our efforts will help bring some justice not only to our family but to all the other families who have suffered, as well as our entire community.
I want to thank the United States Justice Department, and especially Bobbi Bernstein and FBI Agent Bill Bezak, as well as my attorneys Mary Howell and Nathan Fisher, who have been with us from the beginning. Without these people, we never would have gotten this far. I also want to thank Jim Letten, Ted Carter, Cindy Chung and all those who were part of the prosecution team, for their hard work and dedication. Thank you to all the people who prayed for us, and I give glory to God, who has brought us to this moment.
Statement of Madison Family
Six years ago, we were devastated to learn that our brother Ronald had been killed and our brother Lance had been falsely arrested on terrible charges that we knew were not true. Ronald brought great love and joy to our family. Shooting him down was like shooting an innocent child. Then, in an attempt to cover up their crimes, the officers involved in the Danziger incident tried to take Lance’s life away by sending him to prison on false charges.
Since September 4, 2005, we have been determined to clear our brothers’ names, and to uncover the truth of what really happened on the Danziger bridge. While the damage was already done to our family, we could not sit back and let something like this happen to other families. We knew we couldn’t give up until justice prevailed.
Today, we are grateful to finally have some closure to this long and difficult journey. We are thankful to the many people who have helped us reach this point. We especially want to thank Nathan Fisher and Shannon Fay, who helped us clear Lance’s name and get him out of jail, and Mary Howell and Sam Dalton, who have helped us from the beginning. We will never be able to express how grateful we are to Bobbi Bernstein and FBI Agent Bill Bezak for their tireless work in pursuing this case. We are thankful to the United States Department of Justice, the US Attorneys office, Ted Carter and Cindy Chung and the entire prosecution team, as well as the Metropolitan Crime Commission and Safe Streets -Strong Communities, for their support over these years.
We wish to acknowledge the Bartholemews, and James Brisette’s family, especially his mother and sister, who also lost her husband, an NOPD officer, during Katrina. We know how difficult and frightening it has been for the victims and their families to come forward in this case. We continue to pray for all the families and hope that this verdict can also bring them some closure. We know the healing process will last forever.
We want to thank Judge Engelhardt, and the jurors for being attentive and for their hard work. Ultimately we had to put our faith in the jury and we appreciate their dedication.
We also wish to acknowledge those NOPD officers who finally, after many years, came forward to tell the truth and to take responsibility for their actions. Without their testimony we might never have known what really happened . We regret that they did not have the courage or the strength to come forward from the beginning.
Many people have encouraged us and told us that they are praying for us. We are thankful for those who have stood with us during this difficult time. We have sought justice not only for our family, but for our entire community. We know that what happened to our family could have, and did, happen to other innocent families. Everyone in our community, regardless of race or class, deserves protection and safety, especially from our police officers who are supposed to protect and serve us. We are hopeful that, with the on-going help of the Department of Justice, there will be real change in our police department and our city. We are also committed to participating in that process as we continue to heal as a family and a community.