BR attorney talks about NO bridge shootings

Published: Aug. 9, 2011 at 11:00 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM CDT
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Nathan Fisher
Nathan Fisher

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two people were killed and four injured in a hail of gunfire from New Orleans police. One of the victims sought out Baton Rouge attorney Nathan Fisher, who believed the man's story.

Six days after Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, a group of people were walking across the Danziger Bridge when police opened fire on them. Police arrested one of the civilians, Lance Madison, and charged him with eight counts of attempted murder of police officers.

Two weeks later, Madison hired Fisher to represent him. Fisher said the case didn't pass the smell test from the beginning, including facts about Madison's brother.

"We had heard that the police report was going to say that he was shot once in the trunk (upper body)," said Fisher.

The police report did state only the one shot, even though an independent autopsy showed he was shot seven times in the back.

A handwriting expert who examined the initial report confirmed it was written by more than one person.

Shannon Fay was a first-year law student working with Fisher when they got the case.

"Obviously something is completely different," said Fay. "This isn't what they say it is and there were so many different angles and stories, it was just unbelievable."

The state tried to bring a case against the cops, but it fell apart. That's when the federal government took over.  Fisher met with federal officials and unveiled part of what his team had gathered. The case lingered.

"This family went though holy hell and they are such good people. I don't like to use this term, "salt of the earth," but they were that. They went through a tremendous ordeal this past six years," he explained.

Last Friday's verdict convicting the officers was crucial for the Madisons.

"The system worked. They were given their day in court and I'm just very pleased for them that finally the truth came out," added Fay.

The convicted cops will be sentenced Dec. 14. A sixth suspect goes on trial next month.

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