Posted: Aug 9, 2010 2:50 PM
Source: Associated Press
The head of the Justice Department's civil rights division says a "cloud" hanging over the New Orleans Police Department amid a wide-ranging federal probe of alleged police misconduct makes it tougher for law-abiding officers to do their jobs.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez told a gathering of lawyers in New Orleans on Monday that his "profound respect" for good cops motivates him while the Justice Department works to reform the city's police force.
The Justice Department has opened up at least eight investigations of the police department that have resulted in federal charges against 18 current or former officers.
Five of those officers have pleaded guilty to helping cover up deadly police shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge less than a week after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.