Five New Orleans police officers accused of killing civilians in the days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 are set to go on trial.

The police, whose trial begins on Monday, originally contended they had come under fire from someone on a bridge and were defending themselves.

Yet no guns were ever found, and the only person charged with attacking the police was cleared of all charges.

After a local judge dismissed the charges against six others, the US Justice Department stepped in and is bringing the officers to trial in a federal court.

But beyond this case, federal authorities say the police department is riddled with deep-rooted flaws.

New Orleans, a city with the highest murder rate in the US, is now struggling to build confidence in the police department it depends on for protection.

Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports from Louisiana.

Source: Al Jazeera