Nearly five years after Katrina, New Orleans, the city of jazz, Cajun cooking and legendary partying, still bears the scars. So does the tarnished police department.
The latest reminder of the troubles the police department still faces came Friday when a federal grand jury indicted three current cops and two former ones in connection with the police shooting of a resident, who was fatally shot days after Hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department announced.
“Behavior such as described in the indictment has no place in a free society, let alone law enforcement,” David Welker, head of the FBI in New Orleans, said in a statement.
The officers included former cop David Warren, ex-Lt. Robert Italiano, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, Lt. Travis McCabe and officer Gregory McRae.
Specifically, the officers were charged with crimes connected to the Sept. 2, 2005, fatally shooting of Henry Glover, and the subsequent burning of his body in a car; the assault of civilians who tried to help Glover and offenses related to a cover-up of the incident, the Justice Department said.
The FBI arrested Warrent Friday after the return of the indictment, authorities said.
Authorities charged that Warren shot and killed Glover and that Scheuermann and McRae obstructed justice and used fire in the commission of a federal offense by burning Glover’s body and the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu he was in.
The Justice Department said Scheuermann and McRae are also accused of assaulting civilians who came to Glover’s aid.
Italiano and McCabe are charged with obstruction of justice allegedly submitting a false and inaccurate incident report regarding the shooting and burning, and for other allegedly false statements they gave during the course of the federal probe into the matter, the Justice Department said.
“In the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement have a responsibility to do everything in their power to protect public safety and to protect the residents of their city. Any officers who abuse their power and violate the law will be brought to justice,” Assistant Attorney General Perez said in a statement.