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.


Anonymous said...

From Hal at Lbrc,
What if There was no U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division?...
Depaartment of Justice Prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein and her entire team can't be thanked enough. What happened with the Danzinger Verdicts, all the guilty verdicts on all counts, is also an indictment on a local and state judicial system that failed citizens in their search for justice, especially the families of the innocent men, women and children who got cut down like low level species on that bridge, by so- called officers of the law, now indicted criminals.
Families never got answers or thorough investigations from the local or state judicial systems. These families were rebuked initially by the racist mainstream media in New Orleans and at the website. Because all the victims were African- American, these crimes were only covered and aided to discover the real truth by the mainly Africa- American Press. This is the only fair an open media available to Blacks who are perennially disrespected and slaughtered by police thugs who operate in cultures and up until now, unchallenged impunity.
Unequivocally, these crimes would not have been prosecuted, and justice would not have seen the light of day, was it not for the tireless and unrelenting efforts of Federal Prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein and the entire Federal Justice Team.
Unfortunately, there are not enough Bobbi Bernsteins per capita with respect to egregious acts committed against citizens of color in the United States of America. Certainly, if the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District in Louisiana, Mr. Jim Letten, were as vigilant, astute and comitted to the rights of average citizens as Ms. Bernstein, justice would not have had to travel thousands of miles into the city of New Orleans from Washington, D.C., and further expenses needed to do so could have been spared, in order to render constitutional justice. And yes, incompetence always cost taxpayers more. Ms. Berstein accomplished in a relative short period, ripe with cover- ups at the highest of public service and in the heart of the local and state justice system, what Mr. Letten failed to accomplish in 6 years living in the heart of a corrupt police and justice system in New Orleans.
So while I thank Almighty God and pray blessings to victim families and for Ms. Bernstein and the entire support staff at the USDOJ, I am lamenting how it is that Mr. Letten still holds his position in the Eastern District of La. Sure, I can hear it now, all about how Mr. Letten helped and assisted with the Danzinger Prosecutions. Citizens in New Orleans understand differences between spin, make believe and reality. For certain, it is the responsibility of citizens to correct local and state incompetence at the ballot box. A failure to do so there is "all on them".
At the federal level, and with respect to Mr. Letten, he is a federal appointment. Gentlemen, we are relying on you to plead our case before the President. Mr. Letten is a drag on our economy, taxes and ceiling debts. His inaction and or incompetence with respect to the Danzinger issue, has cost tax payers dearly!
Again, thank you Attorney Bobbi Berstein and the entire USDOJ Team, God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Wow, to the anon above, please note that Lance Madison's statement included " 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."

People who failed on the state and local level:

DA Eddie Joran - Democrat, African American

Judge Raymond Bigelow - Democrat

Chief Warren Riley - African American, district chief for where Danziger took place, later police chief of NOPD he claimed to have never read the report whereby his men were "exonerated". Riley refused to let the DOJ in, he refused to create a new police independent monitor, and he refused to give that monitor shared access to the investigation bureau's database. Do the math.

Marvin DeFillo - African American, No. 2 at NOPD, suspended and resigned for negligence (which is putting it politely) for failure to investigate.

Mayor Ray Nagin - African American, Democrat, elected by an 80% victory in the African American electorate in his campaign for reelection; the Danziger incident happened under his watch as did the "investigation"

Please address these facts.