The federal trial of five police officers in the grisly post-Katrina murder of Henry Glover is underway in New Orleans, and a parade of witnesses is slowly winding through the court.
Glover's death was first detailed by ProPublica nearly two years ago, in partnership with the Nation Institute and the Nation magazine. Glover was shot by a police officer on Sept. 2, 2005 as he and a friend stopped by a strip mall to pick up some stolen goods. His burnt remains were found soon after in an incinerated car.
The trial is expected to last for about a month, but revelations about the case have come early.
Earlier today, the second day of testimony, a police officer testified that Lt. Travis McCabe told him not to "worry about it" and that "police need to stick together" when he discovered the burnt out car with Glover's remains in it. McCabe is accused of writing a false report about the incident.
An explanation of how Glover's remains were burned came out in opening statements on Wednesday, when NOPD officer Greg McRae's attorney Frank DeSalvo admitted that his client did, in fact, light the fire that burned Glover's body and the car it was in.
"Nobody asked him to set that car on fire with the body in it," DeSalvo told the jury. "He just set that car on fire."
DeSalvo told the jury his client lit a roadway flare and tossed it into the car, shooting a bullet through the rear windshield as he walked away. "It wasn't a crime then and it isn't a crime now," DeSalvo said.
Our partners over at the Times-Picayune are going to be covering the ins and outs of the trial. You can check out their coverage.
Need a reminder on the case? Glover’s story was the focus of a recent Frontline documentary, done in partnership ProPublica and the Times-Picayune. PBS is rebroadcasting the show on Tuesday (check local listings).