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Two New Orleans officers indicted after post-Katrina shooting

By the CNN Wire staff
  • Indictment is connected to a 2005 shooting outside the Convention Center in downtown New Orleans
  • Federal officials say officers made false statements about fatal shooting
  • Both men face up to 20 years in prison

(CNN) -- Two New Orleans, Louisiana, police officers were charged with perjury in connection with a well-publicized fatal shooting after Hurricane Katrina.

Ronald Mitchell and Ray Jones, who were officers in 2005, were charged with giving false testimony during depositions for a federal civil lawsuit brought by the wife of Danny Brumfield, according to federal indictments released Thursday.

The officers were also charged with obstructing justice.

Brumfield was shot and killed by Mitchell on September 3, 2005 outside the Convention Center in downtown New Orleans, according to the indictment.

The two officers had been patrolling the area which was inundated with thousands of people stranded by Hurricane Katrina.

Brumfield also was there and tried to flag down the officers' car, walking towards it.

Brumfield either jumped on the hood of the patrol car or was hit by the car, the indictment said.

Mitchell then shot Brumfield with a shotgun, blowing through the back of his shoulder, the indictment said.

Brumfield's wife later filed a wrongful death suit and prosecutors allege the officers gave false testimony during depositions for that lawsuit.

"Mitchell gave sworn testimony alleging that Brumfield lunged at him with a shiny object and that he fired his shotgun in an effort to protect himself. Mitchell also testified that immediately after the shooting, he exited the patrol car and checked vital signs," federal prosecutor said in a statement.

This testimony was false, federal prosecutors allege.

Jones also gave false testimony about details surrounding the shooting, prosecutors allege.

Mitchell faces four felony counts, two for committing perjury and two for obstructing justice. Jones faces one perjury count and one obstruction of justice count.

Both men face up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.