“Former New Orleans police Officer David Warren had claimed not to know if he hit anybody when he fired a shot with an assault rifle four days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall,” the New Orleans Times-Picayune editorialized on Monday.”Given Mr. Warren’s award-winning marksmanship, his claim was never believable,” it continued. “Friday federal prosecutors accused the former officer of needlessly killing Henry Glover.
“In announcing the indictments against Mr. Warren Friday, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten also announced indictments against two officers accused of setting Mr. Glover’s body on fire and two other officers accused of obstructing the investigation into Mr. Glover’s death. One can’t read the indictments without feeling outrage over what was done to Mr. Glover.”
As the New York Times noted, “The circumstances surrounding Mr. Glover’s death were first reported in late 2008 in an article that was a collaboration by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute and the nonprofit investigative news service Pro Publica.”
But on Friday, the key member of that collaboration, A.C. Thompson, wrote that the whole story has still not been told.
“When I began investigating the mysterious death of Henry Glover, one of the most notable aspects of the case was the lack of documents,” Thompson wrote.
“Here was a New Orleans resident found incinerated in a car just a few hundred feet from a police station in September 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Yet there was no sign that anyone in authority had ever conducted any sort of investigation. The New Orleans Police Department told me in 2008 that they knew absolutely nothing about Glover’s demise.
“Today’s indictment suggests that was not true. The 11-count indictment accuses police officers of shooting Glover and torching his corpse, physically attacking his brother and another man, and then attempting to conceal it all.
“What’s most striking about the charging documents is what they do not address: the extraordinary number of officers in the department who were likely aware of these events as they unfolded. … Numerous — possibly dozens — of other officers were likely present at the site of the alleged beatings.”
The indictments are not the only legal action. “Charlene Green, the mother of Glover’s child, filed a wrongful death suit this week on behalf of her teenaged son, Henry Glover Jr.,” columnist Jarvis deBerry wrote Friday in the Times-Picayune. “The suit follows reporting done by The Times-Picayune and ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom that worked with this newspaper in an investigation of police shootings after Katrina.”