Yesterday the verdicts came down in the Henry Glover case. According to the morning paper:
Federal prosecutors won the first convictions in their sprawling probe of police misconduct in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as a jury Thursday found three New Orleans police officers guilty in a high-stakes case accusing them of killing Henry Glover, burning his body and fashioning an elaborate cover-up that kept the truth hidden for four years.
The jury of five men and seven women, however, acquitted two officers completely. The jury also cleared two defendants of charges that they beat two men who tried to help Glover after he was shot by former officer David Warren behind an Algiers strip mall.
I don’t have much to add to that. Certainly I don’t have any deep insights. I have to admit I have not been following the case as closely as I probably should have been. But I know this is a historic case and an important moment for the city, and I want to remember it.
There is one aspect of the case that stirs personal memories. Some of the action went down at Habans Elementary, the school where Xy was teaching right until Katrina hit.
I visited the school on October 12, 2005, a rough day for me, and I saw for myself that the building was still being used as a SWAT headquarters.
Later, I found myself visiting Habans again and again, hauling supplies to Xy’s new school, Eisenhower Elementary. What a bizarre time that was. Habans was still functioning as a police camp. Here are some photos I took there in December.
The final big haul took place in January, 2006, and we got an assist from some of the cops.
That’s Capt. Jeff Winn in the tan cap. I’ve run into him a few times over the years. Some of the SWAT types hanging out at Habans frankly scared me, but Capt. Winn always struck me as a good guy. That’s a comment on his interpersonal skills; obviously I’m in no way qualified to comment on his conduct as an officer.
He testified in the Glover case but wasn’t charged with anything. According to an earlier report in the TP:
At the end of his closing argument, DeSalvo switched his attention to McRae’s commander during the storm, Capt. Jeff Winn, who led the NOPD’s Special Operations Division. Winn testified that he told McRae to move the car, but knew nothing about the fact that the officer had set fire to the vehicle.
Winn also testified that after the storm, he didn’t see the top chiefs of the Police Department, at one point saying he essentially ran the department in that first week, coordinating rescues and anti-looting patrols.
“Capt. Winn, here, is the true hero of the storm,” DeSalvo said. “Ask yourself what would have happened to this city but for Jeff Winn. Ask what would have happened to this city but for Greg McRae.”
Yesterday, McRae was convicted of burning Henry Glover’s body. Winn was never charged with anything.
I wonder what might have become of the Keenon McCann case? McCann filed a lawsuit against NOPD for shooting him on September 1, 2005. Specifically it was Winn and Dwayne Scheuermann who shot him.
Scheuermann was one of the cops indicted in the Glover case. He was charged with beating Glover’s brother, as well as destroying evidence and obstructing the investigation. He was found not guilty on all counts.
As for McCann, he was lured outside his home and murdered in August 2008, a case that remains unsolved.
I wonder if the feds are investigating that too.