FBI Probes Anti-Black Vigilante Killings

Score one for investigative journalism.

Back in December, THE ROOT spoke with reporter A.C. Thomspon about his exhaustive piece, published in THE NATION and ProPublica, on the vigilante murders of black New Orleans residents in the wake of Katrina. Thompson’s reporting found, among other things, disturbing signs that local police at least sanctioned, if not participated in some of the most grisly anti-black violence. The FBI now confirms that it is following up with a civil rights investigation into the murder of Henry Glover, whose corps was found burnt and abandoned in August 2005. Thompson now reports:

FBI Special Agent Sheila Thorne told us Saturday: “The matter is under investigation to determine whether there were any possible civil rights violations.”

Thorne declined to elaborate on the bureau’s focus, but civil rights cases often center on law enforcement officials suspected of abusing civilians and depriving them of their constitutional rights. So far this month federal prosecutors have announced the arrest of a Wyoming state trooper for an alleged kidnapping, as well as the sentencing of two former Memphis police officers for conspiring to rob drug dealers, and the sentencing of a Lucas County, Ohio sheriff’s deputy for attacking jail inmates. Federal prosecutors could use the law to bring charges against those who attacked Glover.

In a city haunted by violence, Glover’s demise stands apart because of the apparent involvement of the local law enforcement.

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Go read the original story. It’s chilling—and a reminder of how important this kind of journalism remains.

—KAI WRIGHT

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