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May 10, 2006


Katrina horror stories just keep coming

Michael Brown's hair mousse

In case you've started to forget the jaw-dropping political failure of responsibility we witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, a couple of stories today should freshen up those memories.

First up: what happened to the teenagers in New Orleans' juvenile detention center. The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, which was working to improve the conditions that incarcerated juveniles lived in even before the hurricane, held a press conference yesterday. 15 year-old Eddie Fenceroy said he spent three days without anything to eat or drink, standing in sewage-filled water that reached past his hips. 150 kids under 17 years old were housed with adult prisoners at the parish prison (minors aren't supposed to have contact with adult convicts,) and were later evacuated with the adults to a highway overpass, where police held them at gunpoint. Which I suppose is arguably a step up from standing in sewage up to your hips.

Next is a report from the Center for Public Integrity, which includes even more embarrassing emails from Michael Brown to various colleagues in the days after the storm. On the day the storm hit, the always immaculately-groomed Brown was getting ready for a TV interview and emailing with his then-deputy, Patrick Rhode:

"Yea, sitting in the chair, putting mousse in my hair," Brown e-mailed Rhode.

"Me too!" Rhode replied.

Of course, FEMA and the rest of the government soon started getting attacked in the press as an inept, racist institution. On September 7, around the time that Eddie Fenceroy was being held at gunpoint on a highway overpass as part of his prison's evacuation, Brown wrote to his press aide: "I am tired, no, angered by charges of racism. You know that neither me nor anyone associated with me is a racist. Grrrr.

"How was that Sonic burger?"

categories: Crime, Economics, Politics, Race
posted by amy at 10:51 AM | #

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