Anyone who is familiar with law enforcement in Orleans Parish knows about its long history of corruption with cops extorting money and having ties to organized crime. It has gotten so bad, a rogue cop even ordered the murder of a female fellow officer…

Now I know there has been a campaign to restore integrity. I can also sympathize with the officers who abandoned their posts while trying to get their loved ones to safety. However, before we laud those who stayed behind consider the video taped evidence of some of them caught in the act of looting.

As reprehensible as their actions might be, I hold my greatest contempt for the conduct of the Sheriff’s Department. They shamefully abandoned the 600 inmates in the Orleans Parish Prison compound, who they were responsible for, leaving them locked in their cells and forced to fend for themselves as the flood waters from hurricane Katrina rose.

Like sailors on the top decks of the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor, the inmates on the second floor could hear the screams of fear and the cries of men begging for help in the tier below.

Now, there are about a dozen of those inmates missing. We have no idea if they perished or escaped. The rest of them were forced to stand in sewage tainted water up to their chests for days and were deprived of food and clean drinking water. May I point out that there were makeshift jails set up to house looters and that Orleans Parish jail had an evacuation plan. In fact the jail had been totally evacuated in the 90’s for another hurricane.

In a similar case the owners of St. Rita’s Nursing Home in St. Bernard Parish, where the 34 helpless patients they were responsible for died after Hurricane Katrina hit, have been charged with negligent homicide. I think every one the officers in charge of the Orleans Parish Prison compound should be publicly identified and prosecuted to the fullest as well.