New Orleans City Council President Jason Williams issued a public apology Thursday morning to Jorge Alberto "George” Gomez, the man who was hospitalized after a Tuesday fight with two off-duty city police officers.
Williams expressed remorse on behalf of the city at the beginning of Thursday's council meeting, and said the criminal justice committee he oversees would look closely at the background checks done on the officers involved.
"After a few drinks, a couple of new officers engaged in despicable, repulsive racist acts of violence against one of our fellow citizens," Williams said in a statement. "A good and kind man by every account. A patriot. A veteran. A good neighbor."
Former NOPD officers Spencer Sutton, 24, and John Galman, 26, were terminated Wednesday after an eyewitnesses and surveillance footage revealed them to be the aggressors in a fight at a Mid-City bar with Gomez.
The New Orleans Police Department arrested two of its own officers and began the process of firing them after an off-duty fight with a civilia…
The altercation began when Galman demanded to know if Gomez, who had been decked out in military-style camouflage clothes, had in fact served in the military. He then asked if Gomez, a U.S. native who was raised in Honduras, was "American."
As the argument escalated, Galman struck Gomez with “an opened hand and fist,” and Sutton landed blows as well, according to newly available court records.
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The former officers were jailed Tuesday on counts of simple battery, and were initially released of their own recognizance, But during a hearing Wednesday in front of Municipal Court Judge Steven Jupiter, their bails were raised to $1,500. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said Magistrate Comissioner Jonathan Friedman "acted improperly" in ordering Galman and Sutton released without bail.
They each have pleaded not guilty to the crime, and Galman, through his attorney, has argued that Gomez was in fact the aggressor at the Mid-City Yacht Club on South St. Patrick Street in Mid-City.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page was launched Thursday to help pay for Gomez's hospital bill, which had raised close to $500 by Thursday afternoon.
The council's criminal justice commitee will examine the background checks performed on both former officers, to ensure those and other checks the police department performs are thorough, Williams said.
"Those two officers do not represent the dedicated hard working men and women of the NOPD,' Williams continued. "What they did disparages them and us as a city. Mr. Gomez, again on behalf of the City of New Orleans, I am sorry and thank you for the service to our country."
Spencer Sutton, one of two New Orleans police officers who were arrested and fired following an off-duty fight with a Mid-City bar patron earl…