Friday, June 11, 2010

Henry Glover's Violent Death: Federal Grand Jury Indicts Five New Orleans Police Officers Tied to Post-Katrina Murder

Updated with WWL TV's video of U.S. Attorney Letten announcing the indictments.

William Tanner, the stranger who
tried to save Henry Glover.
Photo from Times Picayune.
Unfolding on WWL TV via stream: "A federal grand jury charged five individuals, two former and three current NOPD officers, in the death of Henry Glover whose charred remains were found in Algiers inside a burned out car days after Hurricane Katrina, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten."

Listening, I heard Letten say that the grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against the five officers, charging (former cop and rookie) David Warren in count one with shooting and killing Glover unlawfully, violating his federally protected rights to be free from police "abuse and unreasonable force by law enforcement officers." If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison.

He's also charged with using a firearm in commission of a crime of violence, count two. It's a felony under federal law.

Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and Officer Gregory McRae have been charged with assaulting civilians who came to Glover's aid, violating the rights of those civilians, count three.

Count five is the burning of Glover's body and the burning the of automobile, and both Scheuermann and McRae are also charged with obstruction of a federal investigation, count four. Scheuermann and McCrae also face charges for "using fire to facilitate a federal offense." They face up to 60 years if convicted.

The other two officers involved are Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe, who have been charged with obstructing justice and lying to special agents of the FBI. McCabe is also charged with lying to a grand jury. They face lower sentences, 25 to 30 years.

Letten called this a "an extremely significant indictment" and talked about the importance of pursuing justice so citizens will know they can trust government and law enforcement.

I'll update this story later, but here's some history. You may read at the Times Picayune an editorial offering some details that came out during this investigation, which is ongoing. The daily also has this article published last year, Mystery surrounds post-Katrina death. The photo in this post comes from the TP. The caption says, "William Tanner poses for a photo where his burned out car was found after Hurricane Katrina with a dead body inside on the river side of the Mississippi River Levee near General Collins." If you click the photo, the link takes you to the newspaper's story.

Tanner is a 41-year-old maintenance man who tried to save Glover after police allegedly shot him. Police refused to help. Glover's body was left on top of the car where he was bleeding to death. The incident happened September 2, 2005, four days after the storm, in Algiers.

While the Glover case is a separate case from the Danziger Bridge cover-up, a case in which some New Orleans police officers are still coming forward with guilty pleas, it's more evidence of police misconduct during the flooding and immediately after the storm. It's become apparent that not only did police behave unlawfully, but New Orleans also was a setting of other racist acts and vigilantism in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Examining journalist A.C. Johnson's his excellent piece, "Katrina's Hidden Race War," plublished at the Nation Magazine in 2008, Jack and Jill Politics discussed the Glover case:
And there’s the story of Henry Glover, who didn’t survive after being shot by an unknown assailant. 2 Glover’s brother flagged down a stranger for help, and the two men brought Glover to a police station. But instead of receiving aid, they were beaten by officers while Henry Glover bled to death in the back seat of the stranger’s car. A police officer drove off in the car soon afterward. Both Glover’s body and the car were found burnt to cinders a week later. It took DNA analysis to identify the body.
Updates on the indictments to follow.

Updated: The Times Picayune says:
(Warren) was arrested and is set to appear for a bond hearing today before a magistrate judge, where prosecutors are expected to ask that he be held without bond until trial. ... Warren has acknowledged firing his weapon at a man meeting Glover's description near a 4th District substation. ...


RiPPa said...

This is the best news, and most welcomed news I've heard all day. I wrote a piece about this brother's case 2yrs ago. It was around the time the campaign was lead to have the DOJ take up an investigation into police abuses in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

Oh man this is so good for my spirit right now!

Thanks so much for sharing, Nordette.

Vérité Parlant said...

Thank you for commenting. The news lets us know that when they want to get to the bottom of something, they can.