Two officers were fired Wednesday for a beating in the French Quarter shortly after Hurricane Katrina that was photographed and videotaped by The Associated Press. A third officer was suspended.
A union official vowed to fight the firings of officers Robert Evangelist and Lance Schilling for their role in the beating of 64-year-old Robert Davis. Officer Stuart Smith was suspended for 120 days.
The confrontation renewed longstanding allegations of racism, brutality and corruption in the New Orleans Police Deparment. The three officers are white, and Davis is black. Davis said he does not believe race was an issue in the beating.
The officers' lawyer said the department rushed the firings. Ordinarily, said attorney Frank DeSalvo, a dismissal occurs only after an officer has been tried on criminal charges.