The New Orleans police officers charged with shooting Henry Glover and burning his body might not be allowed to use the defense that they were just following orders if federal prosecutors get their way.
Our partners over at the New Orleans Times-Picayune have the details here.
Five current or former officers -- David Warren, Gregory McRae, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, Lt. Travis McCabe, and Lt. Robert Italiano -- are charged with playing roles in Glover’s death, as well as the beating of two men who attempted to rescue him and the subsequent cover-up.
Following a report from ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and the Times-Picayune that high-ranking officers in the NOPD issued orders authorizing police to shoot looters in the days after Hurricane Katrina, prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk to ban the defense from using that argument.
Lawyers for the officers have argued that orders from NOPD commanders -- including the order about looters -- illustrate the environment police were operating in.
Though the prosecution has argued that the defense should not be able to employ the "following orders" argument, prosecutors plan to use it themselves, the Times-Picayune points out. Prosecutors have said they will argue that McCabe told federal investigators that he acted on orders from supervisors when he drafted a false report about the Glover incident.
Henry Glover was shot on Sept. 2, 2005, near a strip mall in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. According to his friend, Bernard Calloway, who was with Glover that day, they were there to pick up some stolen goods. Glover's brother and a neighbor, Will Tanner, took Glover to a nearby police compound, hoping to get help. Instead, they were beaten by police while Glover remained in the car. Glover's remains were later found in a burnt-out car on a Mississippi River levee. See our original reporting on the story here.
Warren, McRae, Scheuermann, McCabe and Italiano were indicted in June.