Landrieu said that the settlement marks a "painful" moment in the history of the department, and sought to provide closure to both the victims and the city.
"In some small way, the lives that have been maimed and the lives have been taken were not lives that were or will be lived in vain," Landrieu said, as families of the victims stood behind him. "The people standing behind you have chosen to give us the grace and the blessing of forgiveness for what it is that happened to them."
During the incident on the Danziger bridge, police shot a group of unarmed civilians, including members of the Bartholomew family and a friend, James Brissette, who then died after the shooting. The youngest member of the family, Leonard Bartholomew IV, was the only family member who escaped unharmed, after hiding under the bridge. Immediately following the shooting of the Bartholomew family, police opened fire on another group of civilians, including the Madison family. Mentally ill Ronald Madison, 40, was the second person to be killed, while his brother Lance escaped unharmed. The incident is reported to have occurred because a nearby police crew, escorting a civilian convoy on an I-10 overpass, claimed that they saw an active shooter on the Danziger bridge. They also mistakenly told police arriving to the bridge that an officer had been shot.
Two additional police officers were sentenced to prison for the beating death of Raymond Robair, a 48-year-old handyman, in an incident that occurred one month before the hurricane. After beating Robair to death, the officers lied to doctors, claiming that the victim suffered a drug overdose. One of the officers later lied during an FBI investigation, as well.
Attending the news conference, LaShonda Enclade, Robair's daughter, forgave the city, but offered that forgiving the officers involved in her father's death is "something to be worked on," according to the Denver Post.
"If we find a problem, we do not make excuses. We take swift action against anyone who chooses to make a bad decision," said New Orleans police superintendent Michael Harrison. "You have my commitment that we will continue to build a professional, community-oriented police department."
Harrison added that NOPD officers are required to have their body cameras turned on 100 percent of the time, as one measure to counter police violence.
The city will pay out the settlements over the next 24 months, according to nola.com.