New Orleans mayor declared martial law during Katrina aftermath


On August 31, 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared martial law in the city and reassigned 1,500 New Orleans police officers from search-and-rescue missions to halt widespread looting. This declaration of martial law was only one of a number of extraordinary steps taken by Nagin in an attempt to adequately counteract the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—including the forced removals of residents from their homes and the allocation of $60 billion in disaster relief from the US Congress. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina created numerous issues for civic authorities to address, including an overhaul of the city's criminal justice system.

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Learn more about the legal consequences of Hurricane Katrina from the JURIST news archive.


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