Family finally gets closure in Danziger case

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 5 at 10:33 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- You can still see the pain in the faces of those who lost loved ones to police bullets on the Danziger Bridge. But six years later, their families finally have a sense of closure.

“It's over and it's not over,” said Sherrell Johnson. “God has been good. These six years, I lived through this. There's nothing else to do but keep a stiff upper lip and move on.”

Johnson's 17-year-old son, James Brissette, was killed on that bridge. Police also gunned down 40-year-old Ronald Madison. And after a long fight for justice, five former and current NOPD officers have been convicted for their involvement in the shooting and the cover-up.

"They took the twinkle out my eye, the song out of my heart, and blew out my candle,” Johnson said. “But it's gonna be alright because justice has been served."

Lance Madison was on the bridge the day his mentally disabled brother, Ronald, was shot in the back. He was thrown behind bars for false charges that he shot at police.

“I would like to give glory to God, because without the strength to make it through these six hard years of struggling, we would have never made it,” Lance Madison said.

In the midst of an elaborate police cover-up, the victims' families were determined to find out what really happened on the Danziger Bridge. They somehow knew this day would come.

“With the faith of God I thought it would come,” Lance Madison said. “Yes I did.”

“That's why I could sustain and stand here today, because I tell you, in my mind, I should have been gone,” Johnson said.

Now, the victim's families have a message for those NOPD officers who, after many years, came forward in this case.

“Without their testimony, we might never have known what really happened,” said Jacquelyn Madison-Brown, sister of Ronald Madison. “We regret that they did not have the courage or strength to come forward from the beginning.”

 

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