Five former New Orleans police officers were sentenced earlier this week after the shooting of six unarmed people — two of whom died — on the Danziger Bridge days after Hurricane Katrina, CNN reports.
Robert Faulcon, Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Arthur Kaufman pleaded guilty Wednesday “to charges of deprivation of rights under color of law, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice,” according to PEOPLE magazine.
The men also “pleaded guilty for their roles in an extensive cover-up of the shooting, a scarring episode in New Orleans that compounded the devastation of the flooding,” the magazine writes.
But their sentences — from three to 12 years in prison — are remarkably less severe than the six to 65 years in prison they were originally sentenced to back in 2012.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite called the outcome an imperfect resolution.
“Today’s proceeding ensures that these defendants are held accountable for their criminal actions,” Polite said in a statement. “As the son and brother of police officers, I know all too well that serving as an officer is perhaps the most complex and difficult job in our society. At the same time, when individuals ignore their oath of office, and instead violate the civil rights of the public they are sworn to serve, they will be held accountable.”
The five officers were charged in 2010 with opening fire on an unarmed family and others attempting to flee the scene after gunshots rang out.