WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has returned an 11 count federal indictment charging three current and two former New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers in connection with the police-involved shooting of Henry Glover, a New Orleans resident shot and killed in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
Today’s indictment was announced by Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana; and David Welker, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office of the FBI.
Former NOPD officer David Warren, former NOPD Lieutenant Robert Italiano, NOPD Lieutenants Dwayne Scheuermann and Travis McCabe, and officer Gregory McRae are charged with crimes in connection with the Sept. 2, 2005, shooting and killing of Glover, the subsequent burning of his body in a car, the assault of civilians who tried to help Glover, and various offenses related to a cover-up of the incident.
Warren is in federal custody, having been arrested by Special Agents of the FBI immediately following the return of the indictment earlier today.
Specifically, Warren is charged with unnecessarily shooting and killing Glover and thereby violating his federally-protected right not to be subjected to the use of unreasonable force by a police officer. Warren, also charged with unlawfully using a firearm to commit this crime, faces a possible sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Scheuermann and McRae are charged with obstructing justice and using fire in the commission of a federal offense, for burning Glover’s body and the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu in which his body was located. Scheuermann and McRae are also accused of assaulting civilians who came to Glover’s aid, thereby violating the rights of those civilians to be free from the use of unreasonable force. Scheuermann and McRae each face a possible maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, and fines of $1 million.
Italiano and McCabe are charged with obstruction of justice for their alleged roles in authoring and submitting a false and inaccurate incident report regarding the shooting and burning, and for other allegedly false statements they gave during the course of the federal investigation into this incident. Italiano faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. McCabe faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $750,000.
"In the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement have a responsibility to do everything in their power to protect public safety and to protect the residents of their city. Any officers who abuse their power and violate the law will be brought to justice," said Assistant Attorney General Perez.
"Our deep gratitude goes to the team of federal investigators who continue to seek to defend the rights of victims of abuses following Hurricane Katrina," said U.S. Attorney Letten. "We are absolutely committed to bring those who have violated the sacred rights of our citizens to justice, in the hope that our pursuit will give the people of New Orleans confidence in the protection of honest and professional law enforcement."
"Behavior such as described in the indictment has no place in a free society, let alone law enforcement. Today’s indictment should clearly demonstrate the commitment of the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to aggressively and fairly investigate civil rights matters," said Special Agent in Charge David Welker.
This case is being investigated by the New Orleans Field Office of the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jared Fishman of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Knight for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.