Post-Katrina Shooting Conviction OverturnedBy: Toni Matthews-El - December 12, 2013
A case that was said to be moving towards healing the community in the Post-Katrina New Orleans may now have opened old wounds. Former New Orleans police officer David Warren who had been previously convicted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man has been acquitted in a retrial.
Warren shot Henry Glover a few days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. The officer had been guarding a police substation when he saw Glover and a friend approaching the guarded strip mall. He assumed that Glover was an armed looter. A number of stores had been plundered in the aftermath of the vicious storm. Warren claimed that he shouted a warning, whereas the friend, Bernard Calloway, claims that Glover had been standing near a truck and smoking. Another officer testified that Warren had called looters, “animals that deserved to be shot”. Warren denied having said this.
The 2010 trial ended in Warren’s conviction. He was sentenced to twenty-five years and nine months in prison. Warren would spend three years in prison. Eventually an appeal for a new trial was granted when the panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit court determined that Warren should have been given a separate trial for his crimes. The new jury admitted that they were struggling to reach a unanimous decision. Because Glover’s burned body and the cover-up were not mentioned in the new case, there was less evidence and information available. What did remain did not seem to the new jury enough to convict, leading to an acquittal.
Eight years after killing Henry Glover, David Warren is now a free man. Patrice Glover, sister of the deceased, had to be helped from the courtroom. Said Warren, “I can understand completely the tragedy of what they feel and the loss of what they feel as a family, so to them I can sympathize with the tragedy that they feel and the loss that they feel.”
Whether he will move to try and make some form of amends is not known. For now, Warren has no plans to return to life as a police officer.
Image: Wikimedia Commons