We are inching closer to understanding what happened to Henry Glover, a 31-year-old New Orleans resident whose bizarre death in the days after Hurricane Katrina has been the focus of several ProPublica stories and has spurred a federal investigation.
In a report obtained by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, police acknowledged they had driven a car containing Glover's body to an isolated spot along the Mississippi River, saying they did so to "secure" it. The car was later found there, burned, with Glover's charred remains inside.
Glover had been shot outside a shopping center on Sept. 2, 2005. His brother and a friend say they flagged down a passer-by, who drove them in his Chevy Malibu to a nearby police compound. They say they begged police to help Glover, but instead were beaten and handcuffed as Glover bled to death.
Despite a missing persons report filed in November 2005 by Glover's mother, the New Orleans Police Department did not investigate Glover's death until February 2009, prompted by an article published by ProPublica and The Nation and supported by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.
A draft report begun at that time by homicide detective Sgt. Gerard Dugue contests the accounts given by Glover's companions in several regards. It says officers, in a vehicle with its siren lights on, chased the Malibu into the compound after they noticed it speeding and driving erratically. It says there were two men with Glover, not three. Perhaps most significantly, the report alleges that Glover was already dead when the car arrived.
In an interview, New Orleans Police Capt. Jeff Winn told Dugue that he had ordered another officer to move the car to get Glover's body away from more populated areas. The report says one officer drove the Chevy Malibu to a levee with Glover's body in the backseat; another officer followed, and then drove the first officer back to the police compound. The report does not explain how the car came to be set on fire.
Dugue never completed the report because his computer was seized in August 2009 by the FBI, the Times-Picayune reports. Dugue had been implicated in the cover-up of post-Katrina shootings on the Danziger Bridge, in which officers fired upon six unarmed civilians, killing two. He was also involved in the investigation of the shooting of Danny Brumfield, who was shot to death by police outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Glover's is one of eight cases being examined by the U.S. Department of Justice related to police misconduct after the hurricane. The Danziger bridge incident has resulted in charges against five officers; four have pleaded guilty.