Monday, December 13, 2010

Glover Trial: The Jury's Still Out

By David Soublet

Although a verdict was announced on December 9 in the Henry Glover case, whether justice has been served is still debatable. A clearer picture won't materialize until those found guilty are sentenced months later. No matter how sentencing turns out, glaring injustices are already apparent in the jury verdict and immediate aftermath at NOPD.

Glover was shot and killed by former police officer David Warren outside an Algiers mall days after Katrina. Warren was found guilty of manslaughter, not murder. Most accounts, including Warren's partner Linda Howard, who was an eye witness, indicate that Glover was not close enough to present a threat to Warren's life, did not have a weapon, and was retreating from the area when he was hit with a fatal bullet from Warren's brand new high-powered rifle. Warren's claims of Katrina stress and seeing a shiny object in Glover's hand were apparently bought by the jury, and murder charges were reduced to manslaughter.

Officer Greg McRae's fate was sealed from day one before he testified when, in opening arguments, his attorney announced that McRae drove a vehicle containing Glover's body over an Algiers levy and torched it. His defense, ludicrous at best, is that he was exhausted, had been ordered to remove Glover's remains from the police compound, and he didn't want to smell the rot of death. Fortunately, the jury rejected his sympathy plea and found him guilty of 4 of 5 counts. The verdict in Mc Rae's case appears to fit the crime as it relates to Glover.

Travis McCabe was found guilty of writing a false police report and lying to a grand jury. In a way, his actions may have been the most despicable of the 3 convicts. Having the responsibility and opportunity to clear the air and expose the truth about what happened; he lied and covered up for his pals. It is this cowardly behavior that must change before true internal cultural progress will occur in NOPD. He deserves the maximum prison term available by law.

The most egregious error in the verdicts was the acquittal of Lieutenant Dwayne Scheurmann. Among other charges, Scheurmann admitted following McRae to the levee to dispose of Glover's body and watching him burn it. He concealed the matter until it was apparent that he'd be headed to prison with McRae. If he did not obstruct a federal investigation, as he was charged, then how is obstruction defined? When one does not come forward with the truth immediately in such a horrific case as this, he personifies obstruction!

Ultimate justice begs answers to many other questions in the Glover case, including: How many years will Warren, McRae and McCabe get? Who will appeal and what will result from those appeals? What happened to Glover's skull? Who will be held accountable for ordering Glover's body removed from the compound? Will Chief Ronal Serpas fire several other cops who admitted lying to federal officers or the grand jury, or simply blend them back into police uniforms? Henry Glover's family and his headless remains will cry out for complete justice until these questions are answered.

Reprinted from 12/13/10 Newsletter
Photo/Newsprint from Mike Therealist's Facebook Photos

No comments: