The Justice Department is appealing a judge’s ruling that overturned convictions of five former New Orleans police officers convicted in a shooting during the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina. That shooting of unarmed civilians left two dead and four wounded.
The five officers were convicted in federal court of violating the victims' civil rights. The victims were shot as they walked cross the Danziger Bridge, seeking shelter from the 2005 storm that flooded most of the city.
Police were responding to reports of officers under attack.
The Justice Department prosecuted the officers for civil rights violations, but a federal judge tossed out the 2011 convictions last month. He said anonymous online comments posted by prosecutors on a news website created a “carnival atmosphere” that tainted the case.
The government is asking the appeals court to set aside the new ruling.