Sunday, September 11, 2005

WHITE POLICE OFFICERS from the white suburbs of New Orleans, across the Mississippi River, sealed off the bridge that crossed the river and refused to let hurricane victims fleeing the rising floodwaters cross. The bridge was a key access point to the city, and one of the only escape routes for New Orleans residents. Some police officers shot guns over the heads of survivors who were begging the police to let them through. About 200 survivors who had set up camp near the bridge were ordered to leave by hostile police forces; and their food and water was confiscated.

At a hotel in the French Quarter, about 250 guests who had been allowed to stay until the hotel's food and water ran out, were told by the hotel's management on Sept. 1 that they had to leave. They were given instructions on getting to the city's convention center; but on the way there they picked up on reports that the convention center was overcrowded and dangerous, and that none of the people there were being evacuated. So they approached a police command post, and were told by the officer on duty that there were buses waiting across the bridge to Jefferson Parish (a suburb) that would take them to safety. The survivors were dubious, but the officer looked them straight in the eye and told them he was telling them the truth.

When the group got to the bridge, they were greeted by half a dozen or more police officers who shot their rifles above their heads as soon as the group came near; told them there were no buses on the other side of the bridge; and ordered them to turn back or be shot.

The police were not sealing everyone into the city. Cars were allowed to cross the bridge; and many of the cars that did so were filled with passengers. It was only those people who were on foot who were prevented from leaving the city.

It's not difficult to figure out the reason for that.

Since Laura Bush informs us that her husband cares for all Americans, regardless of color or economic status, I hope she will assure us that George will condemn the behavior of those police officers in no uncertain terms; and that he will personally visit with the people who were forced to huddle in terror beneath an underpass and then walk back to the flooded city they had just been sealed into by the authorities who were sworn to protect them. That is, if he even knows about what happened to these people. Because the President of the United States does not read newspapers.

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