I Think They Would Have Alerady Removed The Dead If They Were White

From Holden:

Why have the authorities been so slow to remove the dead of Katrina?

Why is it that all of bodies you see bundled up in front of the convention center or face-down in shallow water are black?

Shake your head and wonder as Amy Goodman tries in vain to get someone — State Troopers, soldiers, New Orleans Policemen — ANYONE — to take re4sponsibility for a citizen of New Orleans left to rot for two weeks.

AMY GOODMAN:This is Malik Rahim.

MALIK RAHIM: You could basically smell it from right here. You know, and the police, they pass by. They look at it and they ain’t going to do nothing, you know, to pick it up.

AMY GOODMAN:Malik then walked us down the driveway next to the health center and lifted up a sheet of corrugated metal with an X revealing the dead body underneath.

MALIK RAHIM: Now, his body been here for almost two weeks. Two weeks tomorrow. All right. That this man’s body been laying here. And there’s no reason for it. Look where we at? I mean, it’s not flooded. There’s no reason for them to be, left that body right here like this. You mean, just totally disrespect. You know? I mean two weeks. Every day, we ask them about coming and picking it up. They refuse to come and pick it up. You can see, it’s literally decomposing right here. Right out in the sun. Every day we sit up and we ask them about it. Because I mean, this is — close as you can get to tropical climate in America. And they won’t do anything about it.

AMY GOODMAN:Malik, do you know who this person is?

MALIK RAHIM: No. But regardless of who it is, I wouldn’t care if it’s Saddam Hussein or Bin Laden. Nobody deserves to be left here, and the kids pass by here and they are seeing it. The elderly, this is what is frightening a lot of people into leaving. We don’t know if he’s a victim of vigilantes or what. That’s all we know is that his body had been allowed to remain out here for over two weeks.


SOLDIER: We’re with 5015.

AMY GOODMAN: Which is?

SOLDIER: The cav.


SOLDIER: Regular army.

AMY GOODMAN: There’s a dead body right here. Can you guys pick it up?

SOLDIER: You don’t think we can pick it up, but we can call the local authorities to come pick it up.

AMY GOODMAN: This gentleman who lives in the neighborhood said that they have been trying to get — here, let me ask these guys, too. Excuse me. Excuse me. Hi. There’s a dead body right here. Can Louisiana State Troopers, can you pick it up?

LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER: You need to talk to the public information officer, Ma’am.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s been here two weeks. We have filmed it last week, and gentleman over here said he has been trying to get it picked up for two weeks. Louisiana State Troopers, the Police, the Army, no one has responded. We’re looking right over at it right there.

LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER: You need to talk to the public information officer and contact him at the troop.

AMY GOODMAN: Your name is?

LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER: You need to talk to the public information officer.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you know about the body?

LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER: You need to talk to our public information officer.

AMY GOODMAN: Sir, do you know about the body over there.

LOUISIANA STATE TROOPER: Ma’am, you talk with the public information officer.


NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: Our sector is this area here.

AMY GOODMAN:This is right in your sector?


AMY GOODMAN:So that body is right in your sector?


AMY GOODMAN: So, what should happen then?

NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: Well, what I can do in my position is let — notify my chain of command and leave it up to them to make those bigger decisions. It would be out of my hands. I’m just a lower level position.

AMY GOODMAN:Have you all contacted your higher-ups since this is your sector and this has been pointed out the last few weeks.

NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: We will notify our chain of command now. That’s my lieutenant right there.

AMY GOODMAN:Lieutenant there’s this dead body over there. Would the army take it out?

NEW ORLEANS LIEUTENANT POLICE OFFICER: No. That’s not really in our jurisdiction. We can’t do any police work. So, that’s not for us to handle we can only report it and hope that the cops take care of it, but we can’t do anything.

AMY GOODMAN:Have you reported it?


AMY GOODMAN:Why do you think the cops are not moving it?

NEW ORLEANS LIEUTENANT POLICE OFFICER: I have no idea, ma’am. No idea.


AMY GOODMAN: Hi, Sir. You New Orleans Police?

NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: Yes, ma’am. I can’t talk, though.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re just — there’s a dead body over here and we’re wonder if the police would pick it up.

NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: I have no comment on that, Ma’am. You have to call one of the press guys. Sorry. Thank you.