Gulf Watch: Civil rights leader urges congressional probe, sanctions over lack of indictment for Gretna bridge incident

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is urging a congressional hearing and a halt to federal transportation funding for Louisiana "until officials can ensure freedom of movement."

The call comes after a grand jury's decision earlier this week not to indict a Gretna, La. police officer who fired a shot on the Crescent City Connection Bridge during a notorious incident following Hurricane Katrina in which people were forcibly prevented from fleeing New Orleans as the floodwaters rose.

Founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Jackson pointed out that the Crescent City Connection Bridge is a state bridge built with federal funds, and that the Gretna police department has no authority to block it.

"In America, there are no laws that prohibit freedom of movement from one neighborhood, municipality, region or state into another," he said in a press statement. "Gretna officials should understand that Gretna is a part of the United States and not sovereign."