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Justice Department blasts judge in Danziger appeal, requests new judge in the event of retrial


NEW ORLEANS — Federal prosecutors are asking for a new judge to preside over future proceedings should the government decide to retry five New Orleans police officers in the Danziger Bridge shootings.

The New Orleans Advocate reports ( ) the request was filed among other documents with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will decide whether to reinstate the officers' convictions on 25 counts.

The government wants to remove U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt from the case. The judge threw out the convictions of the five officers in September of 2013 and ordered a new trial, citing allegations of "grotesque" prosecutorial misconduct in the case.

Former Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and former officers Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso have remained in custody since 2010, when a grand jury indicted them.

Information from: The New Orleans Advocate,

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