NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans police officer whose 2010 manslaughter conviction was touted as a milestone in the city’s healing after Hurricane Katrina was acquitted Wednesday by a different jury of charges he fatally shot a man without justification during the storm’s chaotic aftermath.
David Warren spent more than three years behind bars after he was charged in the September 2005 death of 31-year-old Henry Glover, whose body was burned in a car by a different officer after a good Samaritan drove the dying man to a makeshift police compound.
Warren, 50, was reunited with his wife and five children after jurors acquitted him of a civil rights violation and a firearm charge.
Warren told reporters that he “took the action that I had to take” when he shot Glover once with a rifle from a second-story balcony at a strip mall he was guarding.
“We have spent years talking about something that lasted seconds,” he said.
Warren’s trembling relatives wept and embraced each other after the verdict, which jurors delivered less than two hours after they informed a judge they were struggling to reach a unanimous decision.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t even get it in my head,” his wife, Kathy Warren, told a supporter. Her husband had been in custody since June 2010, when he surrendered to authorities following his indictment.
On the other side of the courtroom, Glover’s sister, Patrice, slumped over and wailed so loudly that U.S. District Judge Lance Africk paused as he spoke to jurors. After a man carried Patrice Glover out of the room, several jurors wiped away tears as they filed out.
Friends and relatives tried to console Patrice Glover as she sat in a chair in the lobby of the courthouse.
“He was a good child,” she said of her brother. “That was my baby.”
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. said in a statement that prosecutors were disappointed by the verdict but thanked jurors for their “attentive service.”
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