NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A police officer heard on a conversation recorded by the FBI insisted he saw a civilian armed with a gun on the New Orleans bridge where police allegedly shot and killed two unarmed people and wounded four others after Hurricane Katrina.
A tape of that conversation between Officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Barrios was played Monday for jurors in the federal trial of five current or former officers charged in the 2005 shootings. Barrios was cooperating with the FBI when he taped his conversation with Villavaso, one of the defendants.
Prosecutors say police shot unarmed, wounded people and falsified reports as part of a cover-up. Defense lawyers say police were shot at before returning fire.
Barrios was one of five former officers who pleaded guilty in the case.