Washington, Oct. 18, 2018 (Sputnik/NAN)
A resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, has pleaded guilty to hate-crime charges, admitting that he shot at three African-American men who were attempting to flee the city during Hurricane Katrina 13 years ago.
They were fleeing because of their race, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release on Thursday.
“On Sept. 1, 2005, three young African-American men – D.H., M.A., and C.C. – walked to Algiers Point in an effort to reach the ferry landing, a site that state and federal agencies were using as an evacuation point,’’ the release said.
“When the three men crossed a barricade constructed by [Roland] Bourgeois and others, Bourgeois opened fire with a shotgun, wounding all three men’’.
With the guilty plea, Bourgeois admitted that he shot his victims because of their race as the men attempted to evacuate, the release explained.
“Even though these crimes and Hurricane Katrina occurred over 13 years ago, the FBI does not forget,’’ FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Rommal said in the release.
“Today’s guilty plea is proof that the arms of justice are long and we will continue to seek out those who violate and deprive others of their civil rights’’.
Bourgeois will be sentenced on January 17, 2019 and faces a minimum of five years in jail, according to the release.