By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former New Orleans police lieutenant who pleaded guilty to helping cover up deadly shootings of unarmed people on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina has started serving a four-year prison sentence.
According to the Bureau of Prison’s website, 41-year-old Michael Lohman reported Monday to the federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss.
Lohman was the ranking officer at the scene following the shootings on the Danziger Bridge less than a week after the 2005 hurricane. Police shot and killed two people and wounded four others as they responded to an officer’s distress call.
Lohman, who arrived at the bridge after the shootings, was one of five former officers who pleaded guilty to participating in a cover-up that included a planted gun, phony witnesses and falsified reports.
He was a government witness during the trial of five other current and former officers who were convicted in August of civil rights violations.
In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle ordered Lohman to perform 300 hours of community service within the first year of his release, preferably at the New Orleans Police Academy.
Lohman, who retired shortly before his guilty plea, began cooperating with the Justice Department’s probe in December 2009. He wasn’t the first to start cooperating, but he was the first to plead guilty.
The Federal Correctional Institution in Yazoo City is a low security facility housing male offenders. It is part of the Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum security male offenders.
The Yazoo City prison is located 36 miles north of Jackson, off U.S. Highway 49.