Grand Jury Will Investigate Gretna Bridge Blockade

One of the reasons things got so bad in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was because of the Gretna bridge blockade. Hundreds of desperate people were prevented from leaving the city on foot by armed police from the city of Gretna, who feared property damage and violence. Although they had no state or federal authority to do so, police left the boundaries of their city and blocked the bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River and provided the closest route out of New Orleans from the Superdome and Convention Center.

The blockade will be the subject of a grand jury investigation in Orleans Parish, the local district attorney announced yesterday.

Gretna, a city of 17,000 that is the seat of Jefferson Parish, was described in 2003 as "Louisiana's most notoriously racist parish" by the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a group that provides legal defense for indigent suspects in death penalty trials.

In October, the city of Gretna is encouraging thousands of New Orleans residents to cross the bridge and attend GretnaFest, a music and heritage festival that features performances by Eddie Money, Grand Funk Railroad and the Charlie Daniels Band.


The information provided by at your Louisiana Capital Assistance Center link was illuminating:

"In the 1980's...[t]he white residents of Metairie in Jefferson Parish built a wall along the parish line to keep out the black population... At the same time, Jefferson Parish sheriff Harry Lee ordered routine stop-and-searches of any black person traveling in white neighborhoods...

In 1994, two black men died while hog-tied in police custody within a week of each other.

Back in 1991, the federal court had ordered the creation of the first African-American voting district, the local white Civic Association instantly sued.

In 1991, [David] Duke took off his white cap and sheets and emerged in Louisiana politics to be elected and serve a term in the Louisiana House of Representatives for none other than Jefferson Parish."

No wonder Jefferson Parish is called America's Johannesburg. The blockade of the Gretna Bridge was illegal and racist.

They probably won't get an indictment. Even after the hurricane, the martial law wouldn't even allow me to go back into my neighborhood to rescue my own pets from my flooded home. All the main roads and entrances were blocked. Aaron Broussard is an assshole for putting me through the trauma of throwing up every morning because I wasnt allowed home to check on my critters.

And for flooding my neighborhood. Asshole Broussard.

So it's moot.

To the people who think New Orleans should not be rebuilt...

If that is the case I think idiots living in the tornado corridor in trailer parks and have beachside resort homes in hurricane alley, you shouldn't be rebuilt, either.

Now- How Does it Feel?? ;P

I recognized the name of only one African-American performer, Bobby Rush, on the roster of performers at Gretnafest.

You'd think that in the spirit of reconciliation, the city of Gretna would have reached out to black musicians, rather than booking a near lily-white bill.

If Gretna wants to be taken seriously as a civilized place, it should issue a formal apology for what happened on that bridge and do something concrete to show real contrition.

Victims of Katrina

Shit, who cares? Most of east-bankers have never gone to the Westbank for anything entertaining.

I count on 2 hands the times I've gone to the westbank, and that was for doctor appointments.

If I want good food and music, I go to New Orleans.

Y'all really don't know us well down here if you think we go to the WB for music.


Gretna Police did an awesome job ,, get over it..

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