March 31, 2011 Nola.com
McRae, who had been free on bond, was taken into custody immediately. Warren has been in prison since shortly after his indictment in June 2010.
Both sentences were imposed by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, who delivered stern speeches to both men before rendering his judgment.
Warren was convicted in December of violating Glover's civil rights by shooting him, as well as using a gun in a crime of violence. A rookie police officer at the time of the storm, Warren had been guarding a police substation in Algiers on Sept. 2, 2005.
Warren shot Glover as he approached the substation, which was located on the second floor of a strip mall. Glover and a friend had gone to the mall to retrieve some items looted by friends.
Africk told Warren that his use of deadly force against Glover was unnecessary. He used the word "spurious" to describe Warren's claim that Glover charged at him in a menacing way.
"You killed a man ... Henry Glover was gunned down because you believed he was a looter," Africk said. He added that every day Warren has lived since September 2005 is one more day than Glover had.
Africk said Warren's conduct contrasted with that of most NOPD officers, who helped people and saved lives in the aftermath of the storm. Actions like Warren's, he said, erode confidence in law enforcement, making a harsh sentence necessary.
Africk noted that he had received many letters saying that as a result of Warren's conviction, officers will be more apt to question their right to protect themselves during chaotic events.
"I reject that argument." Africk said. "You were not forced to respond to Mr. Glover with deadly force," he told Warren.
Before imposing Warren's sentence, Africk said that he had "given tremendous thought to this case. I can promise you, not everyone will agree with the sentence I impose," he added.
He said, however, that the sentence would be fair.
In letters sent to Africk, friends and family members asked the judge for leniency. "David is a man of God... a devout Christian," said one friend who spoke in open court.
"He is not an evil man. He is not a racist," the friend said.
Warren is white, while Glover is black. During the trial, prosecutors sought to show that race played a role in the event.
Members of the Glover family, visibly devastated, also took a turn at the podium. They asked Africk to issue the maximum sentence allowed by law.
"I forgive these men," said Edna Glover, the victim's mother, while holding a picture of her son. "If I don't, Jesus won't forgive me."
Africk ordered Warren to pay about $7,600 in restitution to the Glover family to cover his funeral costs.
After Glover was shot, he was picked up by William Tanner, a good Samaritan who drove him to a nearby police encampment for medical aid. Tanner and others said police there took them into custody instead of providing aid to the wounded Glover.
Later, officers drove away in Tanner's car, with Glover's body inside. McRae admitted during the trial that he parked the car on the levee and burned it.
It took nearly a year for Glover's remains to be identified, and it wasn't until after the publication of a series of news articles starting in December 2008 that the manner of Glover's death was known.
McRae's lawyer, Frank DeSalvo, argued that Africk should consider the circumstances of the storm as a mitigating factor when sentencing his client. He said McRae saved many lives during the hurricane.
DeSalvo also said McRae never knew that Glover had been shot by fellow officers. Burning the car at the time didn't seem so serious, DeSalvo said, adding that McRae now understands the implications of what he did and has taken responsibility for it.
McRae, clad in a tie and a blue blazer, addressed Africk directly, saying he realized the error of his ways.
"I acknowledge my mistake," he said. "I apologize directly to the Warren family ... excuse me, the Glover family." McRae added that he also apologized to the Warren family.
Later, he said, "I pray for the Glover family daily. I also pray for all the victims of Katrina."
But Africk told McRae that his actions contributed as much as those of Warren to the distress of the Glover family and their inability to get over Henry's death.
The judge called McRae's conduct "barbaric," saying it was "unforgivable" to burn Glover's body -- particularly for a 26-year police veteran. Africk ordered McRae to pay $6,000 in restitution to Tanner for burning his car.
Because of McRae, Africk said, the last photo the Glover family has of him is that "of a pile of bones," a description that provoked a gasp from the victim's family members sitting in the audience.
"At some point, you lost your compass," Africk said.
This story was reported by Laura Maggi and Brendan McCarthy.