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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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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
Jay davidbiz0303 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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fides December 12 2013 at 11:52 AM

test

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wlucas8743 December 12 2013 at 8:49 AM

75% of you clowns don't even know what the trial was about. Only what you've read on here. I suggest if you are going to pass judgement one way or another you go to court everyday and get all the facts.

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3 replies
wrenacg December 12 2013 at 11:41 AM

Sorry, Just checking if I can post here. Because now according to Huffpost:

"To promote more civil discussion and accountability in the Huffington Post community, beginning today, all of those who wish to make a comment will be asked to verify their HuffPost account (ONLY via Facebook). Cancel - I only want to fave comments and fan other users Continue - Tell me more about how to verify my account (AGAIN ONLY via Facebook)

This is the message I encoutered when attempting to comment on the article "Rape Insurance". So now I must belong to Facebook to have an opinion. And I am also only allowed to agree with comments. WOW...talk about censorship. What is the point of doing this other than to up Facebooks enrollment and encourage personal attacks for opinions expressed in anonymity. In my opinion, facebook is the start of all social retardation. It has become the forum for bullying, narcissism, and useless info. And Huffpost's move to punish all for the bad comments of a few is ridiculous; if that is even the REAL reason for such a blatant policing of free speech.

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7 replies
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
aaldrew Eric 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 6:54 PM

why is Charles Manson still in jail and has cost the taxpayer over 1 million dollars? Shouldn't we have executed him long ago?

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2 replies
aaldrew Eric December 13 2013 at 4:52 AM

Liberal politics.

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slackwarerobert Eric December 16 2013 at 9:10 AM

He didn't contribute to clintons, or obamas campaign. Don't think it wold help to give to carter either way.

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allenconsulting December 12 2013 at 11:24 AM

in order to balance the situation a full report of the horrible murders opf innocent people by gang bangers in NOLA during the Katrina needs to be told here too. The looting, the crime, the abuse that was done was horrific. Notice this did not happen with the Sandy storm. Nope people helped each other and what else was different about the two storms?

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1 reply
pahos3 allenconsulting December 12 2013 at 11:46 AM

The Difference that you stated was "Black" and "White"...

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lmstroupe December 12 2013 at 11:07 AM

Next we will see wrongful conviction lawsuite followed by a multi-million $ settlement.After all ,he was a police officer "just"doing his job.Now we don`t consider the fact other cops decided to burn the evidence to protect him and themselves.They were all in it together.Now! To sum it all up ,He could not get a fair trial because the evidence was destroyed .Is it against the law to destroy evidence of a murder in louesaina?Only if your a cop covering yourself.

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