Ex-officer begins prison term for Katrina cover-up

A former police detective who pleaded guilty to helping cover up the deadly shootings of unarmed people on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina has begun a three-year prison sentence.

The federal Bureau of Prisons said Jeffrey Lehrmann reported Monday to a Sandstone, Minn., prison.

Lehrmann was one of five former officers who pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to make it appear police were justified in shooting six people, killing two, on the Danziger Bridge several days after Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. He had testified for the government during a recent trial of other officers.

Lehrmann testified that police fabricated witnesses, falsified reports and planted a gun to support officers' claims they were shot at before returning fire. Prosecutors said police shot unarmed people without justification.