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Ex-cop acquitted in retrial over deadly shooting


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Three years ago, a jury heard lurid testimony about a burned body and a brazen cover-up before convicting a former New Orleans police officer of fatally shooting a man without justification in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

But the officer, David Warren, was acquitted of the same charges Wednesday by a different panel of jurors who didn't hear any talk about what happened to 31-year-old Henry Glover's body or about falsified police reports on his shooting outside a strip mall less than a week after the 2005 storm.

Warren, 50, was serving a prison sentence of nearly 26 years when a federal appeals court threw out his 2010 convictions last year and ordered him a new trial. A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Warren should have been tried separately from four other former officers who were charged in the alleged cover-up.

After the jury in his retrial delivered its verdict and he was reunited with his wife and five children, Warren told reporters he believes the outcome of the first trial would have been different if another officer hadn't burned Glover's body in a car.

"I took the action that I had to take. We have spent years talking about something that lasted seconds," he said. "I do not have regrets. Unfortunately, in this situation I felt that I acted properly. I still feel that I acted properly - and that I stand by."

The 5th Circuit panel had agreed with Warren's lawyers that the "spillover effect" of evidence about the cover-up, including photos of Glover's charred remains, denied him a fair trial.

Dane Ciolino, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, said prosecutors faced the difficult burden of having to prove that Warren "willfully" took the life of a man he never met before the deadly encounter.

"This came as absolutely no surprise to me," Ciolino said of Warren's acquittal. "Once you take away the burned body and the cover-up, it then just boils down to whether it was a bad shoot."

Warren spent more than three years behind bars after he was charged in Glover's death. His trembling relatives wept and embraced each other after the verdict, which jurors delivered less than two hours after they informed a judge they were struggling to reach a unanimous decision. All together, they deliberated for 12 hours over two days.

"Oh my gosh, I can't even get it in my head," his wife, Kathy Warren, told a supporter. Her husband had been in custody since June 2010, when he surrendered to authorities following his indictment.

On the other side of the courtroom, Glover's sister, Patrice Glover, slumped over and wailed so loudly that U.S. District Judge Lance Africk paused as he spoke to jurors. After a man carried Patrice Glover out of the room, several jurors wiped away tears as they filed out.

Friends and relatives tried to console Patrice Glover as she sat in a chair in the lobby of the courthouse.

"He was a good child," she said of her brother. "That was my baby."

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. said in a statement that prosecutors were disappointed by the verdict but thanked jurors for their "attentive service."

His predecessor, Jim Letten, said after the 2010 verdict that it marked a "critical phase in the recovery and healing of this city, of the people of this region."

The jury for Warren's first trial also convicted two other former officers of charges stemming from Glover's death. Gregory McRae was convicted of burning Glover's body. The 5th Circuit upheld McRae's convictions. Travis McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on the shooting, but Africk ordered him a new trial based on evidence that surfaced after his conviction.

The jury at the first trial also acquitted two other former officers of charges related to the alleged cover-up.

On Monday, Warren testified that he feared for his life when he shot Glover because he thought he saw a gun in Glover's hand as Glover and another man ran toward the building Warren was guarding. Prosecutors, however, said Glover wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat.

Defense attorney Richard Simmons said the case was always about "a policeman's worst nightmare, that split-second decision."

"The benefit of the doubt has to go to the officer," Simmons said.

Warren and another officer, Linda Howard, were guarding a police substation at the strip mall on the morning of Sept. 2, 2005, when Glover and another man pulled up in a truck. Warren said he screamed, "Police, get back!" twice after Glover and his friend, Bernard Calloway, exited the truck and started to run toward a gate that would have given them access to the building he was guarding.

Calloway, however, testified that Glover was standing next to the truck and lighting a cigarette when Warren shot him. Howard testified Glover and Calloway were running in different directions when Warren opened fire.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Knight said Howard didn't view Glover as a threat and was horrified by Warren's actions and his nonchalant response to the shooting.

Jurors also heard testimony from a former officer, Alec Brown, who said Warren told him shortly after the shooting that he believed looters were "animals" who deserved to be shot. Warren denied saying that.

Earlier on the same morning as Glover's shooting, Warren had fired what he called a warning shot at a man who had been riding a bike near the mall. Warren said he knew officers are not allowed to fire warning shots, but was worried the man intended to do "something stupid" because he had circled the mall several times.

Katrina Burned Body

KEVIN McGILL and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

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slackwarerobert December 13 2013 at 12:50 PM

Ahh, good to see they are still legally murdering people in new orleans.
At least he can't have a gun anymore. year and a day in prison and you loose that right.
But this is why you NEVER give up your guns. cops are more dangerous than criminals, they are criminals with a get out of jail free card.

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kris and rose December 13 2013 at 4:50 AM

There is no fence to be on in this case, a bad shoot shouldn't be acceptable and covering it up shouldn't be either. I live in central Pennsylvania, I own pistols and rifles, am a hunter and sport shooter, possess a licensed to carry concealed and am 100% certain that I would I would be facing some heavy jail time if I had a "bad shoot" and then covered it up with my buddies. These officers are trained and have to requalify periodically to keep their jobs. The shooter appears to be a seasoned officer and should absolutely be able to tell if a man is armed or not. At least, since nothing was even reported as being pointed at him or anybody at all, the most acceptable would have been to shoot the for the shoulder and wound, not kill. Then, they burn the body to cover it up??? Come on people, this guy's only job is to protect and serve what? The laws of the constitution and the people protected by it, not to be an assassin.

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Jay December 13 2013 at 4:34 AM

The corruption of our Judicial system and police starts at the highest levels. Ever since John Roberts' convoluted decision on Obamacare, I -- as have many of us, it seems -- have been monitoring the decisions and actions by these people. Uniformly, the officials appear to be self-serving and, when their egregious actions clearly cross the line, they hire mouth-pieces who twist the law even further to get their client off. Is not right. Glover was murdered and the crime was covered up. That was clear. Was Warren the one responsible? Sure looks like it.

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stronghart December 13 2013 at 4:22 AM

This voted thing on comments is BS, and the reason I say that is when I vote onsome of these comments it ether wil not register at all or register twice, WTF

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davidbiz0303 December 13 2013 at 2:46 AM

It is time for the judicial system in this country to take a long, hard, look at itself. The people are losing all respect for the law, particularly when the law is an ASS! How many of these cases are we going to have to suffer through? Kids get drunk and slam into four innocent people, killng them all....and they walk free! Vigilantes are killing innocent bystanders in a secure community....and they walk free!....cops are killing innocent people in the aftermath of disaster....and they walk free. Teachers are raping under age kids who then commit suicide because of the trauma...and they get a wrap on the knuckles! Why??? Because the law is an ASS! It allows tricky attorneys and dumb judges to manipulate the law and make every case about egos and winning and huge attorney fees, instead of Justice! It's got to stop! How can anyone have any faith in the system, when it is run, protected and manipulated by the very people charged with preserving its integrity!?

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1 reply to davidbiz0303's comment
Jay December 13 2013 at 4:38 AM

What do you think it will take to make it stop? Revolution? Secession? Constitutional convention? What do you want to do with the really bad guys who are currently locked up? How do we safeguard ourselves while we are trying to fix the system?

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joliemarot December 12 2013 at 8:30 PM

I am kind of on the fence with this one. I understand why he shot the guy-'thinking' he had a weapon-sometimes it is just that split second when you have to make the decision of action-or inaction. I think the police have a hard time of it in todays world-and yet I have heard of some who are simply trigger happy. I have had encounters with good police and not so nice ones in my lifetime-but I think the good outweigh the bad.

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4 replies to joliemarot's comment
Mike Mayo December 12 2013 at 8:09 PM

Score one for the good guys!!!

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1 reply to Mike Mayo's comment
fftitanic December 12 2013 at 9:38 PM

you sure ?

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Eric December 12 2013 at 7:26 PM

By the way, you no longer have freedom of choice. If you are uninsured, you must sigh up for Obamacare or get a fine. I for one with not sign up no am I paying the fine.

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1 reply to Eric's comment
aaldrew December 13 2013 at 4:51 AM

Obama care is illegal.

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Eric December 12 2013 at 7:08 PM

We have the right according to the constitution, to overthrow the government when we feel it no longer represents the constituion and the citizens. Currently we are in that era.

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Eric December 12 2013 at 7:02 PM

And why is a criminal in prison allowed to vote and run for political office? Didn't they give up those rights. Read the constitution.

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slackwarerobert December 13 2013 at 12:56 PM

we have one impeached judge in office which clearly violates the constitution which PROHIBITS impeached people from holding office.
I can't understand why the people they pull this on don't shoot them. Court lets them off, I carry out the sentence myself.

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