Three New Orleans policemen convicted in Katrina death

NEW ORLEANS (BestGrowthStock) – A federal jury on Thursday convicted three current and former New Orleans police officers in the shooting death and burning of a man in the chaotic days following the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

Former officer David Warren was convicted of manslaughter for shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover on September 2, 2005, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported on its website.

At the time of the shooting, Warren, then a rookie officer, was guarding a detective bureau office in a strip shopping center.

Jurors, who deliberated for three days before returning a verdict in the case, also convicted officer Greg McCrae for burning Glover’s body in a car, the newspaper reported.

Officer Travis McCabe was convicted of submitting a false police report on the killing and lying to federal investigators.

Two others, officer Dwayne Scheuermann and retired officer Robert Italiano, were acquitted of all charges in the burning and cover-up.

Following the verdict, prosecutor Jared Fishman asked that McRae and McCabe be taken immediately into custody, the Times-Picayune reported. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk said he would rule on that request at a bond hearing on Friday.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said in a statement published by the newspaper that the verdict was not a condemnation of all New Orleans police officers.

“There are men and women in that police department who honor the badge every day and every night, and they sweat and they strain and they work for too little money and they don’t see their families enough and they risk and sometimes give their lives,” Letten said.

“This case is not about departments. It’s about individuals who thought they were above the law and weren’t,” he said.

“I can only commit to you that…no one is ever above the law,” Lenten told reporters after the verdict.

Henry Glover’s aunt, Rebecca, was upset with the verdict.

“I think all of them should have been convicted because they all participated in the cover-up and the crime,” she told reporters. “My nephew is never going to come home….It should have been murder, not manslaughter — no.”

Warren testified during the trial that he opened fire on Glover because he saw something in his hand that he thought was a weapon.

Prosecution witnesses disputed that account, saying that Glover was not acting aggressively at the time he was shot.

The flooding from Hurricane Katrina stranded tens of thousands of people without adequate food and water, leading to lawlessness and chaos on the streets of New Orleans.

Federal prosecutors have charged 20 officers in four separate cases stemming from Katrina, according to local media reports. The Glover case was the first to be tried among those charged.

(Reporting by David Beasley and Mary Rickard. Writing by Dan Whitcomb. Editing by Greg McCune and Peter Bohan)

Three New Orleans policemen convicted in Katrina death