Judge hands out tough sentences in post-Katrina killing by police
By A.C. Thompson, ProPublica
Judge Lance Africk sentenced ex-officer David Warren to 25 years for
shooting Glover with an assault rifle, and sentenced former cop Greg
McRae to 17 years for torching the man's corpse as it lay in a car
parked on the banks of the Mississippi.
Travis McCabe, a former police lieutenant, has also been convicted in
connection with Glover's death, but he is pushing for a new trial and
has yet to be sentenced. Judge Africk is scheduled to hear McCabe's
appeal on April 21.
Spurred by an investigation from ProPublica and The Nation magazine linking the killing to the New Orleans police force, federal agents began probing the matter, eventually bringing charges against Warren, McRae, McCabe and two others -- Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and former Lt. Robert Italiano.
The five were tried late last year, with the jury acquitting Scheuermann and Italiano.
The slaying of Glover (a 31-year-old father of four), the desecration
of his body and the police cover-up have captured international media
attention and sparked calls to reform the long-troubled police force, a
process now under way. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of
Justice released a 158-page study
documenting "systemic violations of civil rights" by New Orleans police
and suggesting the police force had a pattern of covering up
questionable conduct by cops.
Looking into incidents in which officers opened fire on civilians
during the past two years, Justice Department investigators found the
New Orleans police showed little interest in determining whether these
shootings were proper and legally justified.
"The systemic deficiencies in NOPD's investigation and review of
officer-involved shootings are so egregious that they appear in some
respects to be deliberate," states the report. "NOPD officer-involved
shooting investigations consistently fail to gather evidence, establish
critical facts, or fairly analyze the evidence that is readily
In a March 17 press conference,
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice
Department's Civil Rights Division, said he would be seeking a consent
decree, a legal maneuver likely to lead to an overhaul of the police
force and ongoing monitoring by a federal judge.
New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas, who took charge of the force
last year, said he welcomed the scrutiny by the Justice Department and
expected to have a judge looking over his shoulder. "When we finish this
process with the Department of Justice, there will be oversight by a
court," he said at the press conference.
Sign up for our free newsletter for the latest news, trends & analysis.