Rapes, killings hit Katrina refugees in New Orleans

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By Mark Egan

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - People left homeless by Hurricane Katrina told horrific stories of rape, murder and trigger happy guards in two New Orleans centers that were set up as shelters but became places of violence and terror.

Police and National Guard troops on Saturday closed down the two centers -- the Superdome arena and the city's convention center -- but them penned them in outside in sweltering heat to keep them from trying to walk out of the city.

Military helicopters and buses staged a massive evacuation to take away thousands of people who waited in orderly lines in stifling heat outside the flooded convention center.

The refugees, who were waiting to be taken to sports stadiums and other huge shelters across Texas and northern Louisiana, described how the convention center and the Superdome became lawless hellholes beset by rape and murder.


Several residents of the impromptu shantytown recounted two horrific incidents where those charged with keeping people safe had killed them instead.


In one, a young man was run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer, in another a man seeking help was gunned down by a National Guard soldier, witnesses said.


Police here refused to discuss or confirm either incident. National Guard spokesman Lt. Col Pete Schneider said "I have not heard any information of a weapon being discharged."


"They killed a man here last night," Steve Banka, 28, told Reuters. "A young lady was being raped and stabbed. And the sounds of her screaming got to this man and so he ran out into the street to get help from troops, to try to flag down a passing truck of them, and he jumped up on the truck's windshield and they shot him dead."


Wade Batiste, 48, recounted another tale of horror.


"Last night at 8 p.m. they shot a kid of just 16. He was just crossing the street. They ran him over, the New Orleans police did, and then they got out of the car and shot him in the head," Batiste said.


The young man's body lay in the street by the Convention Center's entrance on Saturday morning, covered in a black blanket, a stream of congealed blood staining the street around him. Nearby his family sat in shock.


A member of that family, Africa Brumfield, 32, confirmed the incident but declined to be quoted about it, saying her family did not wish to discuss it. But she spoke of general conditions here.


"There is rapes going on here. Women cannot go to the bathroom without men. They are raping them and slitting their throats. They keep telling us the buses are coming but they never leave," she said through tears.


People here said there were now 22 bodies of adults and children stored inside the building, but troops guarding the building refused to confirm that and threatened to beat reporters seeking access to the makeshift morgue.


People trying to walk out are forced back at gunpoint - something troops said was for their own safety. "It's sad, but how far do you think they would get," one soldier said.


"They have us living here like animals," said Wvonnette Grace-Jordan, here with five children, the youngest only six weeks old. "We have only had two meals, we have no medicine and now there are thousands of people defecating in the streets. This is wrong. This is the United States of America."


One National Guard soldier who asked not to be named for fear of punishment from his commanding officer said of the lack of medical attention at the center, "They (the Bush administration) care more about Iraq and Afghanistan than here."


The Louisiana National Guard soldier said, "We are doing the best we can with the resources we have, but almost all of our guys are in Iraq."


Across town at the Superdome, where as many as 38,000 refugees camped out until Wednesday night when evacuation buses first came, the 4,000 still there were corralled outside, hoping to get on four waiting buses with seats for only 200.


The scene at the sports stadium was one of abject filth. Crammed into a small area after the building was shut to them last night, those remaining sat amid heaps of garbage, piled in places waist high. The stench of human waste pervaded the interior of the now vacant stadium.


One police officer told Reuters there were 100 people in a makeshift morgue at the Superdome, mostly people who died of heat exhaustion, and that six babies had been born there since last Saturday, when people arrived to take shelter.


At the arena, too, there was much talk of bedlam after dark.


"We found a young girl raped and killed in the bathroom," one National Guard soldier told Reuters. "Then the crowd got the man and they beat him to death."
09/03/05 16:23


© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.

Couple of depressing stories there.. I know a few people in New Orleans.. I only can hope if they are alright.. -Fatality ((Furr))
 
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What.. the...****..?

I know sometimes troubles can bring out the bad sides of people.. but that's just.. unbelievable..
 
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Yeah, I know.. I also know that I'm not seen much around here anymore, probably on a count of that people hate me here. o_O But I saw this... and thought I should assure people of the brutality that is happening in that poor city.
 
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Furr said:
Yeah, I know.. I also know that I'm not seen much around here anymore, probably on a count of that people hate me here. o_O But I saw this... and thought I should assure people of the brutality that is happening in that poor city.
I don't know you, so I don't hate you. :3

This article is unbelievable.. Are you sure it's true? I had expected more of those people.. but I guess it must be very hard for help to arrive there.. I can somewhat understand their desperation.. but rape? Killings? By police officers?

They deserve death. They are no peacekeepers, they are murderers.
 
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Shiyojin Rommyu said:
I don't know you, so I don't hate you. :3

This article is unbelievable.. Are you sure it's true? I had expected more of those people.. but I guess it must be very hard for help to arrive there.. I can somewhat understand their desperation.. but rape? Killings? By police officers?

They deserve death. They are no peacekeepers, they are murderers.
((Yay for not hating me :D))

I found a link to this article on Netscape. And I'm pretty sure its true, I read other articles by Mark Egan and they were on ABC and others.
 

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DBZ attracts a crap croud, who ever told you that the ESF community hates you, tell em to go stick it up their, umm, ear hole. yea, ear holes.

anyway, yea it is very bad, but I expected no less, its just humans afraid for their lives, would you not do the same? especialy when they were left there to drown while the richer pepole actualy had the money to get a bus out of there, whats the point of ordering a evacuaiton without offering the methods to evacuate for free?
 
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fortnox said:
DBZ attracts a crap croud, who ever told you that the ESF community hates you, tell em to go stick it up their, umm, ear hole. yea, ear holes.

anyway, yea it is very bad, but I expected no less, its just humans afraid for their lives, would you not do the same? especialy when they were left there to drown while the richer pepole actualy had the money to get a bus out of there, whats the point of ordering a evacuaiton without offering the methods to evacuate for free?
If you're asking me if I would rape women, slit their throats, and shoot women and children, then no, I don't think I would.

But of course, that's easy for me to say, because I'm not in that situation.

Even so, I find it hard to imagine myself doing such things, even in such a situation.
 
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Also don't hate you.. o_O

The sad truth is that a lot of civilisation hangs on the thread of peaceful life - cut that and all hell breaks loose. In the midst of chaos it doesn't matter what's right or wrong, only who has power and is willing to use it. This is a lot like a warzone. You hear stories of how soldiers of all countries turn from normal men to rapists and pillagers and wonder how this can be true. But the fact of the matter is that we all have that capability, and for some of us civilisation is the only thing holding us back.

It's one of the most depressing parts of human society. When things go bad we don't drop to primal level, we sink a hell of a lot deeper.
 
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Shiyojin Rommyu said:
If you're asking me if I would rape women, slit their throats, and shoot women and children, then no, I don't think I would.

But of course, that's easy for me to say, because I'm not in that situation.

Even so, I find it hard to imagine myself doing such things, even in such a situation.
I agree. Even in the darkest of situations, I wouldn't go on a rape and kill spree. Although, like Rommyu said, its easy for us to say that because we aren't really in that situation.
 
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If I were in that situation, I'd probably go mad aswell. A lot of people lots their entire families and no longer care about law or right or wrong. Id I'd lose my wife and kids (if I had them) I would probably do desperate and insane things.

I'm not trying to justify it though.

I'm wishing the survivors of Katrina the best of luck.
 
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Thank you for sending the south back 1000 years
 
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I cannot wait till 2008, when we get bush out of office and hopefully get someone in there with half a ****ing brain!

"YEA! LETS SEND ALL OUR TROOPS TO IRAQ TO FIGHT A WAR THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT, AND LEAVE OURSELFS DEFENSLESS!!! YAY!!! is it time for my nappy poo?"....

God I cannot ****ing stand what this guy is doing to our country. I don't care if Clinton was having his **** sucked by multiple people, he never let our country go to **** like this. I still cannot believe that bush was reelected, gives me more of a reason to want to move out of the US.
 
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@Saru: You're welcome....?

This can happen anywhere. When something destroys every part of your life...you just lose it. First there's fear, then anger, and eventually you just break. Those police officers dont seem like they broke, though. It seems like concious behavior. They know exactly what they're doing, and they're going to milk the moment for all its worth. Its not everyday you're in charge of an entire city, right?

Edit: I just read the previous post and all I gotta say is our military being in Iraq has nothing to do with whats happening in New Orleans. The army and the marines aren't policemen.

And imo, Bush Jr. was the worst president before this even happened.
 

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I have to say, the way Bush handled this situation was atrocious. He is now, in my mind, the worst president the United States has ever had.
 
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Still doesn't give them the right, I don't care if martial law is in play, there is no reason to take advantage of there position, doesn't make them any better then the people who where shooting at the helicopters, or rapeing women... if any of that story is true then all of those people involved deserve to die.

"I just read the previous post and all I gotta say is our military being in Iraq has nothing to do with whats happening in New Orleans. The army and the marines aren't policemen."

yes but the point is, with all of this recent chaos, we are so vulnerable right now. if these people can barley control a city and are complaining they dont have enough troops, then how them hell would we defend ourselfs if someone decided to invade?
 
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If you think like that, you're no better than they are. We are generally called "civilized" for a reason. Two wrongs dont make a right, right?

Btw, I wasnt justifying anything they did. I was just saying what might be going through their heads.

EDIT: No one is invading anyone. Too many alliances. The invader would be crushed. Think Command and Conquer.
 
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END OF POLITICAL STATEMENTS. Nothing about the Bush administration is going to be tollerated in here, it's just going to start forum fires.
 
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If these OFFICERS OF THE LAW, are taking advantage of martial law, and doing these things, then yes, they do deserve to die. These people depend on these officers to help them, yet they kill them instead? I don't care if some of these storys where twisted to make the cops look bad, if they cold bloodedly killed someone, then yes, they do deserve to die. At the moment this situation seems like one of zero tolerence, it should apply to the citizens, aswell the police.
 
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And so the circle of violence continues. Anger begets anger, hate begets hate, and so forth.
 
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Thats what makes this situation so difficult to deal with. In such a panic, its hard to deal with a specific event, thats what makes this so annoying..... Oh well, I just hope this gets delt with without loosing many lifes, im just so pissed that cops would kill innocent people...
 

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