NOPD Conviction Overturned in Post-Katrina Shooting

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Watch Law and Disorder, FRONTLINE’s investigation into police shootings by the New Orleans Police Department in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Today a federal appeals court ordered a new trial for former police officer David Warren, who was convicted in December 2010 of shooting New Orleans resident Henry Glover in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.

The ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (pdf) said that Warren demonstrated that “he suffered specific and compelling prejudice” because the lower court tried him with other police officers, who were accused of burning Glover’s body in a separate incident.

Warren is the second officer convicted in the Henry Glover case to receive a new trial. In May 2011, former officer Travis McCabe, who had been convicted of writing a false police report to justify the Glover shooting, was granted a new trial by Judge Lance Africk, who oversaw the original trial. The decision came after an earlier draft surfaced of the police report McCabe was convicted of altering.  In its ruling today, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Africk’s decision.

The court also reversed the conviction of former officer Greg McRae on the charge that he denied Glover’s family members access to the courts, finding there was insufficient evidence to support that charge. It upheld the other charges against McRae, who was convicted of setting fire to the car containing Glover’s body.

Anna Christman, an assistant for interim U.S. Attorney Dana Boente, told our partners at the Times-Picayune that the office was still reviewing the court opinion and had no comment.

The Glover shooting is one of six questionable cases of post-Katrina police shootings FRONTLINE has been investigating with ProPublica and the Times-Picayune for the past three years.

Photo: The burned car which contained Henry Glover's body.
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