Testimony in Post-Katrina Shooting by Police Offers New Details on Alleged Cover-up
4:31 p.m.: This post has been updated.
The prosecution called its final witnesses in the trial of five current and former police officers charged in the post-Katrina killing and cover-up of a New Orleans man. A cousin of Henry Glover -- the 31-year-old New Orleans man who was killed on Sept. 2, 2005, just days after the storm hit the region -- testified that she repeatedly went to the police with details about Glover's shooting but was ignored. And a police sergeant testified on Monday that she wrote a report raising questions about the shooting, only to have the report rewritten.
Glover's death was first detailed by ProPublica nearly two years ago, in an investigative partnership with the Nation Institute and the Nation magazine.
Glover was shot by New Orleans Police Officer David Warren when Glover and a friend were picking up goods near a police substation. Three men took the injured man to a makeshift police station for help, and the last his family saw of Glover was when two officers -- Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and Officer Greg McRae -- drove away with his body in the back of a car. That car was later found burned up on a levee of the Mississippi River, with Glover's charred remains spread across the seats.
In the months after the storm, Glover's cousin Kawan McIntyre testified that she went to the NOPD's 4th District Station three separate times to try to find out what had happened to Glover. She told officers at the station the date, time and location of the shooting, and passed on contact information for Glover and his family. McIntyre said she also told officers that the family believed the police had set fire to a car with Glover in it and left it on the levee near the station.
One officer she spoke with told her that she was wrong. "He just looked at me, stared straight at my face and said no one killed Henry Glover," McIntyre testified. (You can read more about McIntyre's testimony in the Times-Picayune's story.)
Testimony over the last few days of the trial has centered on the roles that former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe played in allegedly covering up the killing.
New Orleans Police Sgt. Purnella Simmons also testified in the case, saying that her draft report on the shooting had been rewritten by others, with key details missing, and then turned in with her name still on it. Simmons testified that in her written report she included the fact that Warren's partner for the day, Officer Linda Howard, had felt that the shooting was not justified. When the report was later turned in, there was no mention of Howard's concerns.
The prosecution says the report had been rewritten by two of the officers now on trial, McRae and Italiano. It does not connect the shooting that day with the remains found in the burnt car, even though testimony earlier in the trial has shown that Italiano may have been aware that they were parts of the same incident.
The prosecution laid out its case in seven days of testimony. The defense's first witness, Officer David Warren, took the stand this afternoon. Check out nola.com for continued coverage of the trial.
Update: The Times-Picayune has just posted a story about the testimony of David Warren, the New Orleans police officer who shot Henry Glover on Sept. 2, 2005. Warren’s testimony marks the first time any of the five defendants has told their version of what happened.