Friday, December 10, 2010

NOPD Officers Convicted

In Criminology this past semester we watched a Frontline documentary ("Law and Disorder") on Hurricane Katrina and the response of the NOPD to the disaster.

Following up that discussion comes word three of the five officers tried for the death of Henry Glover were convicted yesterday.

More than five years after a man named Henry Glover was shot and his body burned here by police officers in the days after Hurricane Katrina, a jury has weighed in on the circumstances of his death. Three police officers were found guilty Thursday night on nine federal counts in an emotionally charged case that painted a grim portrait of the city’s troubled Police Department.

David Warren, a former police officer, was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of Mr. Glover; Officer Gregory McRae was convicted of obstructing justice and other charges for burning Mr. Glover’s body; and Lt. Travis McCabe was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice for drawing up a false police report.

Two other police officers were found not guilty on various counts. The mixed verdict, returned by the jury after nearly three days of deliberation, left relatives and friends of Mr. Glover with an incomplete sense of vindication.

You really owe it to yourself to watch this documentary. Not only does it bring together visually the complex relationship between race, poverty and law enforcement, but it speaks to the power of good investigative journalism (which seems to be so missing in most of today's MSM blather-fest on cable news networks).

No one is a bigger critic of the way the media falsely shapes our views of criminal justice in this society than me, but this is a story where journalism has actually led to a measure justice.

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