FBI to Probe Fatal Shooting by New Orleans Police

As tensions mount, Hip Hop needs to find its voice to call out the indiscriminate practice of police killing “black” men.  It is inaccurate to say Obama is inheriting two wars when he takes office. How quickly do we forget about the “War on Drugs” or the “War on Poverty?” These are actual engagements that have budgets, bureaus, and goals attached to them.  When is enough enough?  This is atrocious.   

via Nola.com

The FBI will probe the New Year’s Day fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man by New Orleans police, considering whether it could be a civil rights violation, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Agents from the local FBI office consulted with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office in deciding to open the inquiry, said Special Agent Sheila Thorne, a local FBI spokeswoman.neworleanspolice

Relatives of Adolph Grimes III contacted the FBI shortly after he died in the shooting, which New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley described as a “gun battle” involving seven officers.

Nine police officers were reassigned after the early morning incident and the Police Department’s homicide division is conducting its own investigation. Police have said seven officers fired after Grimes shot at officers. Frank DeSalvo, an attorney representing several officers and the Police Association of New Orleans, said homicide detectives on Monday began collecting statements from the officers.

Eric Hessler, an attorney representing the Fraternal Order of Police and several of the officers, predicted Monday night that evidence will show the shooting was justified.

“I’m sure once they look at the facts and circumstances, that they will come to the same conclusion that these officers were justified,” Hessler said.

— Man was shot 14 times —

In seeking an FBI review, Grimes’ relatives decried the shooting, calling Grimes a young father who had never been involved in criminal activity. Grimes graduated from Brother Martin High School in 2004, and relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina.

Grimes was shot 14 times, 12 times in his lower back and legs, and twice in his front upper torso, according to Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard.

Robert Jenkins, a New Orleans attorney representing the Grimes family, said early aspects of the NOPD investigation raise questions, such as the department’s refusal to publicly disclose names of the officers who were reassigned.

Jenkins said he also was alarmed that the police crime lab did not begin its examination of the vehicle Grimes was sitting in until Saturday evening, more than two days after the shooting.

But DeSalvo said there is nothing inherently suspect about the gap between the shooting and the crime lab’s work. Because of both staffing restrictions during the holiday and other deaths, detectives could not secure the necessary search warrant until Saturday, he said, adding that in the intervening period the car was kept in a locked cage.

DeSalvo said that while searching Grimes’ car trunk, police discovered a shotgun and extra ammunition, including an extended magazine clip for Grimes’ 9 mm handgun. “The speculation should be, ‘What was this kid up to?’ “

Family members have emphasized that Grimes had a permit for his handgun. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said permits to carry concealed handguns are not public record in that state.

Jenkins and Grimes’ relatives said they have no information about the shotgun found in Grimes’ rented Toyota Camry, but Jenkins said he finds it suspicious that police said they discovered it after more than two days.

— Police weren’t in uniform —

At a news conference Saturday, Riley said Grimes fired the first shot, taking aim at a group of officers who pulled up beside him in the 1700 block of Gov. Nicholls Street.

It was about 3 a.m., just a few hours after Grimes had returned to New Orleans to visit relatives. Family members said he was waiting in the car outside his grandmother’s house for another relative.

The police officers, who had been working undercover so were not in uniform, and who were riding in two unmarked cars, were looking for a suspect in a shooting reported a few blocks away.

Experts in police use of deadly force said investigators should look into whether Grimes knew the people jumping out of two vehicles were police.

If individuals approached by police “are armed and concerned — think they are being robbed — you don’t want them to react from that context,” said Peter Scharf, a criminologist with Tulane University’s school of public health.

Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina expert on police use of force, said undercover officers have an “extra burden” to identify themselves.

Riley on Saturday wasn’t confident that Grimes knew the people approaching him were police officers, saying that will be a factor in the investigation.

But DeSalvo was adamant that Grimes was given clear signals that the six men and three women in the unmarked cars were cops.

“Almost every person to the man kept yelling, ‘Police, police, police,’ ” DeSalvo said.

Officers turned on sets of flashing blue lights, which rest on the dashboards, as their vehicles approached Grimes’ car, Hessler said.

The determining factor in whether the shooting will be classified as justified is whether the officers felt in danger for their lives or another person’s life, Scharf said. Detectives also must determine whether Grimes posed a threat throughout the incident, Scharf said. It appears Grimes ran around the corner before falling and dying on a sidewalk on North Claiborne Avenue.

Another key factor, Scharf said, will be making sure that each officer independently perceived a threat from Grimes, such as seeing him raise his 9 mm handgun. In some shootings, officers inappropriately fire because they are responding to “social cues” from their colleagues, without verifying the threat, Scharf said.

But Hessler said that once Grimes fired his gun, each officer feared for his or her life. “Why else would they fire their weapon? Just to be part of the party?” he said. “No. They are trained to fire at a recognizable threat.”

3 thoughts on “FBI to Probe Fatal Shooting by New Orleans Police

  1. Decades of horrific New Orleans Civil Rights violations by its police, by elected officials and by sitting judges, make it hard not to suspect the motives of the newly launched local FBI probe into NOPD conduct, now that the Hurricane Katrina shooting cover-up has nationwide attention. There is no doubt in my mind, if the powers-that-be had any idea that the former NOPD supervisor would reveal the hatched covered up shooting of 6 unarmed people, the ex-cop would have been given a deal he could not refuse; or he would be assured that his loved ones would be very uncomfortable or unemployed. By the same token, it is common knowledge that just about anything can be done / can happen to anyone by New Orleans police -and there could be no retribution for unlawful acts, unless /until someone takes a chance and publicly snitches (or some person has nothing else to lose by telling all).

    Long before creating the city’s new Office of ‘Inspector’, New Orleans already had numerous so-called other law enforcement means, aside from what is referred to as its police department and local FBI. There’s the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the City DA, the plethora of (corrupt) civil and federal courts, and the U.S. Attorney’s office that is run by Mr. Jim Letten. Ironically, when unwary citizens report wrongdoings to those agencies, the only noticeable result is that the wrongdoers become better alerted as to which areas of their crimes require better secrecy. However, the City would not need an added expense of that ‘Inspector’ which actually overlaps / duplicates its already-in-place authorities, if those authorities would. . .READ entire article at:

  2. its been like that for decades. anybody with money or higher power can get away with anything.ITS all about money and power. its all about getting money to the state and killing off blacks by any means. they let balck killers roam even with all the evidence right there on the table, but run a red light, do any thing that will give the city money your azz will get rail roaded until they milk ya dry. its just my thought once again being from the N.O. JH

  3. thats new orleans. you cant call the police for the police. i believe the man reacted the same way i would have reacted when conronted by a gang of mf. the n.o is a place where if you are in a do or die situation bust your guns and think about it later

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