Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Isaiah, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 8, 2004
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    +62 / -0
    This is an old story, but it is one I hope will not be over until justice is served... I recently saw this beautiful, ultra-chocolate goddess on a NOVA PBS Special entitled, THE STORM THAT DROWNED A CITY, and connected the face with the name, Ms. Africa Brumfeld... This story is about her father, Mr. Danny Brumfeld, whose picture, lying on the ground while others look upon his bloodied corpse, might refresh a few memories.... It is "alleged" Mr. Brumfeld was murdered by New Orleans police, who, first shot him, after he hailed them for help, and then ran over his prone body with their police cruiser... Here's the story...

    Man listed as Katrina victim was killed by police in Convention Center fiasco

    Saturday, October 8, 2005

    Janet McConnaughey / Associated Press

    One of the 73 people listed as victims of Hurricane Katrina was actually shot by police.

    Officer Ronald Mitchell shot and killed Danny Brumfield, 45, outside the convention center, the New Orleans Police Department confirmed Friday. Police said it happened about 2 a.m. Sept. 3, in the darkness before the National Guard arrived and began evacuating the convention center.

    A police statement released after The Associated Press asked about the shooting said that, moments after Mitchell and his partner heard what appeared to be a gunshot, a man jumped onto the hood of their patrol car swinging something shiny. It was attempted murder of a police officer, a four-paragraph news release said.

    That wasn't what happened, say Brumfield's daughter, Shantan Brumfield, and his niece Africa Brumfield, both of whom were there and both of whom were interviewed by phone by the AP.

    They say the officer who shot Brumfield had hit him twice with a squad car before doing so -- a nudge the first time, and a heavier bump the second. That was when he leaped onto the hood and was shot, they said. Afterward, they said, the car ran over him, and other officers didn't come to investigate for several hours.

    Police say he was shot because he appeared to be attacking an officer. Capt. Marlon Defillo, a New Orleans police spokesman, said he had not heard any reports about Brumfield being hit or run over by a car. He said the homicide section is investigating the incident, and all information will be turned over to the district attorney's office.

    By all accounts, that night was a time when looting was rampant and widespread rumors of violence had everyone, including police, running scared.

    Brumfield had spent several sleepless nights caring for his own five grandchildren and others in the area, because people believed that they had to clutch their children against rapists and killers who would snatch them into the dark.

    "The lady next to us, she had like 10 or 15 children with her and nobody to help her," Shantan Brumfield said. "He helped her feed the children. I don't know if they were her children or nieces or nephews."

    When Hurricane Katrina approached, Brumfield had stayed to protect his house from looters. He wound up having to saw through the roof so that he, his wife, Deborah, and her diabetic mother, Ruby Augustine, could escape from floods that reached high on the second floor.

    His mother-in-law, wife and son wound up at the Astrodome. Danny Brumfield wound up in front of the convention center, where he found his daughter and her children. Several of their other relatives were there, too, Shantan Brumfield said.

    They and other people in the area had set up chairs near some steps. The children were inside, adults in the chairs as a barricade of bodies. Shantan Brumfield said a commotion broke out shortly before the squad car came by. Africa Brumfield said a woman had been screaming for some time.

    Danny Brumfield got into the street. His niece thought he was trying to stop the police car; his daughter wasn't sure why he did.

    Africa Brumfield said the officer slammed on the brakes and her uncle put his hands on the hood to show he wasn't carrying any weapons. Shantan Brumfield said he put his hands on the hood after he was hit, apparently trying to stop it.

    Both agree that the car sped up, hit him again, and he jumped onto the hood.

    Shantan Brumfield said he reached up toward the glass, as if trying to get the car to stop and let him down. Africa Brumfield said he had reached down and pulled out a pair of shears which she had given him earlier that day, as the only weapon they had to protect the children.

    That was when he was shot. Then, both said, the car left, over Brumfield's body rather than around it.

    Africa Brumfield said she wrote her uncle's name and birthdate on a piece of duct tape which she wrapped around his arm, and her cousin wrote information about her father on a piece of paper which they put into a zip-lock bag and taped to his body.

    Someone found a black blanket with which they covered the body, so his grandchildren wouldn't have to see it.

    Buses showed up about 10 a.m. that day, three blocks away.

    "My mother walked up to him. She said her goodbyes there," Africa Brumfield said. "She said, as much as we didn't want to leave his body there, we really didn't have any other choice.

    "Then we ran because our lives depended on it."

    By the time his body was recovered and released to his family, it was unrecognizable.

    "Everything you've ever seen in a horror film does not compare to that reality," Africa Brumfield said. "The only way I was able to identify him was that the position my uncle died in was entrenched on my mind."

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  2. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

    United States
    Mar 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Where the Niger meets the Nile
    +1,289 / -1
    That was back in October. What has been done since? Has the pig been brought to trial?
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 8, 2004
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    +62 / -0
    River, no further word on the Danny Brumfield killing as yet, but we'll try to keep folks abreast of new info... Here's a related story...

    Katrina Deaths Lead to Real-Life 'CSI' By CONNIE MABIN,
    Associated Press Writer

    NEW ORLEANS - While hundreds drowned in Hurricane Katrina's filthy floodwaters, at least 21 people died more mysteriously. From unexplained gunshot wounds to stabbings and fatal blows to the head, these unidentified victims are now the main characters in a real-life version of "CSI."

    Coroners are using science, creative thinking — and even a Crock-Pot — to try to answer the question many are asking: Who or what killed these 21 people?

    With evidence that's washed away, witnesses who fled the state and an overworked police department, at least one official says the mysteries may never be solved.

    "We don't know if they are suicide or murder or accident," says New Orleans coroner Dr. Frank Minyard. "We may never know."

    Coroners examining the 1,090 bodies recovered in and around New Orleans occasionally find something suspicious — a bullet lodged in a bone, a wound that could match a knife blade.

    When that happens, they set the bodies aside for a closer look, and notify the police and district attorney, said Dr. Louis Cataldie, the state medical examiner.

    New Orleans police spokesman Capt. Juan Quinton said his department investigates when the coroner declares a homicide, but he's unaware of "any great volume" of deaths unrelated to the storm. He refused to discuss details of any ongoing homicide cases because the coroner has yet to release names.

    Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan and his staff are investigating four homicides that occurred in the aftermath of the hurricane: one at the Superdome, one at the city's convention center and two "on the street," said spokeswoman Leatrice Dupre.

    Included in the morgue's mysterious 21 — but not among the four on the DA's homicide list — are the police-shooting deaths of two people in September. Cops say the men were among gunmen who opened fire on contractors traveling across the Danzinger Bridge on their way to make repairs. The family of one of the dead disputes the men were shooting at anyone, and Jordan's office is investigating. The family's lawyer has advised them not to speak to reporters.

    "Those shootings may very well be determined to be justifiable; they may not be," Dupre said.

    The 21 mystery cases are in limbo until Minyard and his small staff can re-examine the bodies for clues. Their priority now is identifying the remains of hundreds of drowning victims in the state's temporary morgue so they can be returned to families.

    When the investigation does begin, Minyard's team will face challenges: Flooding not only washed away evidence from crime scenes but also forced both perpetrators and potential witnesses to flee.

    And New Orleans' government is still wrecked in many ways. The police department is in the midst of a leadership shake-up, the courts are barely functional and the coroner's staff has been cut by three-fourths because Katrina broke the city budget.

    Still, Cataldie predicts no one will get away with murder because there's one piece of evidence the storm didn't wash away: the corpse. "Don't forget that the body is a crime scene. Always," he said.

    At the top of the to-do list is retrieving bullets for ballistics tests to see if the gun has been used in other crimes.

    Skeletons also yield evidence.

    "You can take a rib and cook it down," he said. "You can deflesh it, and we do that in a Crock-Pot, and find a nick that would indicate a stab wound. There are all kinds of things you can find — scratches and nicks that don't belong there."

    However, Cataldie stressed, what may look like stab wounds may very well be the marks of animals preying on the dead.

    "There's definitely carnavoric activity on many of the bones we're seeing," he said.

    And not all human-inflicted wounds lead to murder. Cataldie said he examined the body of a man who died during the storm who police believe had been slain.

    "It was quite obvious the gunshot wound to the head was an old gunshot wound because there actually had been surgery. So the person was not a homicide, he was a drowning victim," he said.

    In late October, prominent forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, the coroner in Pittsburgh, helped Minyard with 30 Katrina-related autopsies, including one shooting victim.

    "I cannot tell you whether it was homicide or suicide," Wecht said. "I really don't know."

    The condition of the bodies made immediate determination of the cause of death difficult, he said. Often, bodies were so badly decomposed there was no blood, no obvious organs and in many cases, injuries that were sustained after death, possibly by encounters with debris.

    Coroners tried to rule out foul play by looking for — and not finding — obvious signs: bullets, stab wounds, skull fractures, bodies found someplace other than in water. And every victim had pieces of their leg bones removed for DNA testing to help with identification.

    In suspected cases of mercy killings in hospitals or nursing homes, tissue was sent to a Philadelphia lab to test for morphine and other drugs.

    But Wecht, who said he's never seen so many bodies from so many places in such bad condition, said medical examiners can only determine so much.

    "I think in many incidents, it's going to be impossible," he said. To him, the best service coroners can offer in this situation is identification.

    Still, Darlene Cusanza, executive director of the New Orleans Crime Stoppers organization, said her group is counting on the coroners and law enforcement to do everything they can to solve the mysterious deaths.

    "There will be justice. It just may take a while," she said. "Nothing is being forgotten."

    Cataldie is also confident the murders will someday be solved, not only with clues left behind by the dead, but with help from the living.

    "Most homicides, despite what you see on 'CSI,' are not solved by forensics," he said. "Most homicides are solved by people talking. People talk.";_ylu=X3oDMTA5bGVna3NhBHNlYwNzc3JlbA--