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NEW ORLEANS — A white man accused of shooting and wounding three black men in New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath has been charged with a federal hate crime.

A five-count indictment Thursday accuses 47-year-old Roland Bourgeois Jr. of firing a shotgun at the men in the city’s Algiers Point neighborhood while they tried to flee after the August 2005 hurricane.

Prosecutors said Bourgeois discussed shooting black people and “defending” the neighborhood after the storm. He allegedly retrieved a bloody baseball cap belonging to one of the victims and displayed it after the shooting.

Bourgeois, now a resident of Columbia, Miss., faces a possible life sentence if convicted of charges that include committing a hate crime with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

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