AFRICANGLOBE – A jury Wednesday acquitted former New Orleans police officer David Warren of federal civil rights and gun charges stemming from the post-Hurricane Katrina killing of Henry Glover.After 14 hours of deliberations, the jury delivered its verdict at 5:15 p.m.
Just an hour before, jurors reported they were deadlocked in a note that said the “tension is getting thick.”
Warren testified that he he feared for his life when he shot Glover on Sept. 2005 from the second-story balcony of an Algiers strip mall where Warren was standing guard.
The former lawman, who fired a single round from his personal assault rifle, claimed that he saw something in Glover’s hand that could have been a gun. And Warren said that Glover, after arriving in a truck with another man, was charging toward a first-floor gate, which Warren believed was unlocked.
After the verdict was read, members of the Glover family sobbed, and Patrice Glover, a sister of Glover, screamed before a man hoisted her in his arms and carried her into the hallway. In the hall, she continued wailing and said, “He killed my brother.”
Warren, 50, who has been jailed since 2010, smiled and hugged his attorneys. He told reporters later he felt he his actions were “right and proper” that day and said he has no regrets. Members of his family cried and hugged inside the courtroom. One of his daughters said, “Daddy’s coming home.”
“It doesn’t seem real,” Kathy Warren, his wife, said to a supporter. Outside the courthouse, Rick Simmons, a defense attorney, said “There are no winners, only survivors.”
Jared Fishman, Justice Department prosecutor with the civil rights division, declined to comment. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite issued a brief statement saying the department was disappointed.
Jurors embraced and linked arms as they left the federal courthouse. They did not talk to reporters.
After the 2010 trial, Warren was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. An appeals court scrapped the conviction, finding he was unfairly tried alongside four other NOPD officers who were charged with the grisly cover-up, which included Glover’s body being burned in a car abandoned atop the Algiers levee.
In the retrial, which began on Dec. 2, the 12-member jury heard nothing about the burned body or the cover-up involving other officers. Warren was never implicated in the cover-up.
Another officer, Greg McRae, was convicted in 2010 of torching the car with Glover’s lifeless body in the backseat. He has launched new efforts for a new trial. And ex-NOPD officer Travis McCabe was convicted of falsifying police reports. He won a new trial currently set for March 2014.
Prosecutors put on eight witnesses in two days, then called one rebuttal witness. The defense case also lasted two days. While some observers said it was a risky move, Warren took the stand in his own defense, as he did in 2010.
By: Naomi Martin and Juliet Linderman