Category Archives: Hurricane Katrina

Phyllis Mann Article: Mistreatment of Louisana prisoners after Hurricane Katrina

Update Oct. 9, 2008: Green Party Watch has posted an lengthy statement from the McKinney campaign on the sources of McKinney’s allegations here.

Cynthia McKinney has caught some flack, and gotten some national exposure from Fox news, for saying that 5,000 black prisoners of New Orleans jails were executed during Hurricane Katrina.   There is a kernel of truth here, but not a lot of evidence that people were intentionally murdered.

This is Louisiana lawyer Phyllis Mann ‘s initial report on the severe physical mistreatment of prisoners following Hurricane Katrina. I’m reposting it here in HTML on account if its only being available in PDF format on the web in the archives of the Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyer’s newsletter , The Advocate.  The article is important for its first person account of the incredible maltreatment of prisoners by New Orleans area law enforcement agencies.  The neglect that Mann describes is shocking.  The suffering is bad enough, without people being killed.

I’m more bemused by the reaction to McKinney’s statement than upset by the claim itself.  Surely the U.S. government has killed enough people to make killing prisoners plausible.  Maybe some people would dispute that.

If I can, I’ll do a post on the other resources that are available.  But I thought this was important enough to post seperately in full.  If  Ms. Mann or the Advocate would like the article removed, I will do so.

Hurricane Relief Aid
By Phyllis Mann
The Advocate: Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Volume 2, Issue 4.
Fall 2005
Page 3 – 6

When we woke up on Monday, August 29th, the lawyers who had evacuated to my house from New Orleans were all breathing a sigh of relief. What little word there was seemed to suggest that Katrina had veered east at the last minute, sparing New Orleans the worst of what we had expected. Boy were we wrong. By Wednesday, we began to realize just a tiny portion of what Katrina had done to New Orleans and to our criminal justice system. It was on Thursday that we learned our clients had been inside the jails of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Plaquemines, St. Tammany, all through the hurricane and the levy breaks. We heard that they were being sent to facilities all over the State of Louisiana – some to parish jails, some to DOC prisons – and no one knew who was being sent where or when. Read the rest of this entry

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