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Jul 5, 2011 12:48 PM by AP

Witness: Cop in Katrina shootings used racial slur

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A jury has heard testimony that a New Orleans police officer used a racial epithet in explaining why he fired at the back of a teenager fleeing the scene of deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

Testifying Tuesday at a trial for five current or former officers charged in the shootings, former officer Kevin Bryan recalled asking fellow officer Ignatius Hills why he fired two shots at 14-year-old Leonard Bartholomew IV from the rear of a rental truck that police drove to the Danziger Bridge.

Bryan said Hills responded that he tried to "pop a round off" at the black teenager, using a racial slur to describe the youngster.

Hills, who is black, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and testified last week as a prosecution witness.

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