- The Washington Times - Friday, December 10, 2010

Three current and former New Orleans police officers have been convicted by a federal jury in connection with the post-Katrina shooting death of a Louisiana man who was shot in the back and left to die in the back seat of a car, which later was burned by police with the man’s body still in it.

The jury on Thursday found former Officer David Warren guilty of a civil rights violation, resulting in death, for the Sept. 2, 2005, shooting of civilian Henry Glover. It also convicted him of using a firearm during a crime of manslaughter.

Warren, who was convicted of shooting Mr. Glover in the back as he was running away from the officer, faces a possible life sentence for the civil rights shooting crimes and up to 15 years imprisonment for the firearms manslaughter.

Also convicted were current Officers Greg McRae, on two counts of civil rights violations, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of using fire in the commission of a felony, and Lt. Travis McCabe, on charges of obstruction of justice by submitting a false report about the Glover shooting, lying to the FBI and committing perjury before a federal grand jury convened to investigate Mr. Glover’s death.

McRae faces a possible sentence of 50 years in prison, while McCabe faces a maximum sentence of 30 years.

“Instead of upholding their oath to protect and serve the people of New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina, these officers violated the law and the public trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “And while some officers broke through the thin blue line and told the truth under oath, others were rightly convicted for obstructing justice. Today’s verdict brought a measure of justice to the Glover family and to the entire city.”

Prosecutors said at trial that Warren, while stationed on a second floor lookout, shot Mr. Glover, who was a floor below him and running away. Mr. Glover’s brother and a friend flagged down a passing motorist, William Tanner, who put the wounded man in his car to try to get medical attention for him. But the prosecutors said that when the group drove up to a makeshift police station seeking help, police officers surrounded them at gunpoint, handcuffed them and let Mr. Glover die in the back seat.

Prosecutors said McRae then drove off with Mr. Tanner’s car with Mr. Glover’s body inside, and burned both the body and the car with a traffic flare.

“Today’s verdicts send a powerful message that no one is above the law, and that those who are sworn to protect our citizens are never, under any circumstances, relieved of their sacred responsibilities under our constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Jim Letten in New Orleans. “We will continue to do everything in our power — and use every law and weapon in our arsenal of justice to make certain that our police never abuse power they wield.”

The jury acquitted Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, accused of aiding and abetting the burning of the car, and Lt. Robert Italiano, accused of participating in the cover up.

During the course of the month-long trial, jurors heard from 65 witnesses, including all five of the defendants, and deliberated for three days before returning their verdict.

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