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New Orleans police on trial over killing in chaos following Hurricane Katrina

Imagine 2050 Staff • Nov 20, 2010

Chris McGreal reports for the guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 November 2010:

Rebecca Glover, aunt of Henry Glover

There’s not much mystery about how Henry Glover ended up a charred corpse in a burned-out car in the heart of New Orleans. One police officer has admitted to shooting the young black man. Another has confessed to throwing flares into the car where Glover lay covered in blood on the back seat. He then put a couple of shots through the window as the vehicle was consumed by fire. The officer has since called that “a very bad decision”.

Glover’s body was not recovered for weeks and proved so difficult to identify that it was nine months before his family could bury him. But it has taken five years to bring anyone to trial, and only then after the federal authorities waded in with accusations of an institutional cover up that continues to this day.

Glover died during the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina breached the city’s levees, flooding New Orleans and unleashing a wave of looting and violence. Five policemen are on trial over his death, but also in the dock are the city’s police department and local judicial system as a jury is asked to consider whether the devastation wrought by the hurricane in 2005 also blew away the rule of law.

One police officer, David Warren, is accused of shooting Glover without legal cause. Greg McRae is charged over the burning of the car and the beating of men who tried to help the victim. A third policemen is also accused of the beatings, while two others face accusations of falsifying evidence to cover up the crimes.

“They believed that, after the storm, no one was watching,” Tracey Knight, a prosecution lawyer, told the court. “They were convinced that no one cared about Henry Glover and how he died.”

Continue reading at www.guardian.co.uk.

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