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Jury convicts three, acquits two in post-Katrina police shooting

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henry_glover_burnt_car_propublica.pngBy A.C. Thompson, ProPublica

A federal jury last night convicted three current or former New Orleans
police officers in connection with the death of Henry Glover, a 31-year
old man who was shot by a police officer and died in custody shortly
after Hurricane Katrina tore through Louisiana in 2005.

The circumstances of Glover's death were first disclosed
more than two years ago in a story published by ProPublica and The
Nation magazine. That story prompted a federal civil rights
investigation and drew attention to the conduct of the New Orleans
Police Department in the chaotic days after Katrina and the subsequent
flooding ravaged the city.

The jury found ex-cop David Warren guilty of shooting Glover, officer
Greg McRae guilty of burning Glover's body, and Lt. Travis McCabe guilty
of creating a false police report and misleading federal authorities
when questioned about the case.

Two other police officials, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and former Lt. Robert
Italiano, were acquitted of all charges against them. Scheuermann had
been accused of participating in the burning Glover's body and beating
the men who sought to rescue him after he was shot. Italiano had been
indicted for trying to cover-up the crimes.

While the jury had the option of convicting Warren of murder, they opted
for manslaughter, a lesser charge. Warren testified that he'd shot
Glover near a strip mall in the Algiers section of New Orleans because
he felt menaced and feared for his life.

Glover, who was unarmed, was trying to pick up a suitcase of stolen
house goods left near the mall when Warren hit him with a single shot
from a .223 caliber assault rile. Warren was guarding a police
substation located in the second story of a mall when he spotted Glover
and shot him.

After the Sept. 2, 2005 shooting, Glover's brother, Edward King, and two
passers-by took the injured man to a nearby school, where members of a
police SWAT team had set up a temporary headquarters. The three men said
they were greeted with immediate hostility when they arrived at the
school, and that the officers there beat them and allowed Glover to
bleed to death.

Officer McRae, a SWAT team officer who was working a short distance away
when the shooting occurred, told the jury he took Glover's body to the
banks of the Mississippi River and set it afire in a car owned by one of
the men who had stopped to help Glover. He said he felt remorseful for
his actions, which he said had been prompted by the stress of the
Katrina disaster. McRae was also convicted of obstructing justice and
civil rights charges.

Scheuermann, who accompanied McRae as he moved Glover's body, was
acquitted of charges that he beat the men who brought Glover to the
school and of burning the body. He said McRae set the corpse ablaze on
his own.

Prosecutors asserted that McCabe and Italiano entered the picture later,
and sought to cover-up the grisly incident. McCabe was found guilty of
authoring a false police report about the shooting, lying to federal
agents, and perjury. Italiano was acquitted.

(Photo of the car where Henry Glover's body was burned by New Orleans police by ProPublica.)

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