A former New Orleans police officer has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his role in covering up the facts in a notorious shooting that left two people dead and several wounded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Ignatius Hills was sentenced on Wednesday by U. S. District Court Judge Martin L.C. Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Hills pleaded guilty on June 4, 2010, to misprision of a felony and to conspiring with fellow officers to obstruct justice by covering up the shooting that occurred on the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005.
Hills had testified for the prosecution in the trial that ended in August in the convictions of five New Orleans police officers on civil rights homicide and obstruction-related charges, as Main Justice reported. The shooting on the Danziger Bridge has come to be seen as one of the lowest points in the history of a police department that has been plagued by corruption.
Hills admitted that he fired at an unarmed 14-year-old boy who was fleeing a barrage of police gunfire that severely wounded his parents and sister, as The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
In a related matter on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance of the Eastern District of Louisiana denied a motion by the government to reduce the eight-year sentence imposed on former New Orleans police officer Michael Hunter, who also pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government in the Danziger Bridge case.