Two New Orleans Police officers have been convicted in connection with the beating death of Raymond Robair in July 2005, as well as their subsequent cover-up, the Department of Justice announced.
"Every community relies upon their police officers to protect and serve, but these officers abused their power, violating the law and the public trust," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. "I am hopeful that today's verdict brings a measure of justice to the victim's family and the entire community."
Officer Melvin Williams was convicted of violating Robair's constitutional rights by beating him on July 30, 2005. The officer approached Robair on the street in Robair's neighborhood. Several neighbors testified that they saw Williams kick Robair in the side and beat him repeatedly with a baton.
After the beating, Williams and Moore placed Robair, who was unconscious, into their police car and drove him to Charity Hospital, where they informed the hospital staff they had found Robair under a bridge in this condition, and that all they knew was that Robair was a drug user. The hospital treated Robair for a drug overdose rather than for blunt force trauma. Robair, who suffered fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen as a result of the beating, was pronounced dead within a few hours.
First-year Officer Matthew Dean Moore was also convicted of obstructing justice by writing and submitting a false and inaccurate incident report regarding their interactions with Robair. Moore was also convicted of one additional felony count for making false statements regarding the incident to FBI agents in March 2010.
Williams faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. Moore faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.