The Justice Department has released a scathing report lambasting the New Orleans Police Department for repeatedly using deadly force without justification, making unconstitutional arrests, and engaging in racial profiling, among other misdeeds. "Even the most serious uses of force, such as officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, are investigated inadequately or not at all," the report complains. "NOPD's mishandling of officer-involved shooting investigations was so blatant and egregious that it appeared intentional."
The report found a "troubling racial disparity" in how the department used force—in all 27 instances in which officers fired their guns from January 2009 to May 2010, they were shooting at African-Americans. It also found evidence that police had harassed gays and lesbians. It blamed poor recruitment, training, and enforcement of department rules for many of the problems. The investigation was conducted at the request of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who tells the AP that his new, handpicked police chief is already instituting reforms.