Ex-cop seeks to recoup legal expenses after Glover retrial
21st January 2014 · 0 Comments
Coroner seeks help from State AG to complete probe of Glover’s death
The aftermath of the retrial of former NOPD officer David Warren, the cop who shot Henry Glover in the parking lot of a West Bank strip mall just days after Hurricane Katrina, has been anything but quiet.
Since Warren’s acquittal by a federal jury last month, the Glover family and supporters have stormed the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office and demanded that Coroner Frank Minyard reopen his investigation of the cause of death so that the district attorney can file state charges against the former officer.
Minyard promised in December to reopen the investigation and have it completed in seven to 10 days but has not fulfilled that promise. In fact, just days after 200 supporters of the Glover family descended on his office, Minyard announced that he was going to pull out of the coroner’s race set for February 1.
In a recent letter to State AG Buddy Caldwell, Dr, Minyard asked for assistance in resolving his probe into Henry Glover’s death.
“There were no broken bones where a bullet would have pierced and so we had no other information. There was no scene investigation and remember he was found in a burned-out car,” Minyard wrote.
Minyard told Fox 8 News that he has reached out to the Feds to secure additional evidence
The coroner says he wanted to look at “a transcript of the trial of officer David Warren’s testimony and other people.”
“They have refused,” Minyard told Caldwell. “They have informed me that everything has been sealed by a federal judge.”
Minyard says he is awaiting a response from the State AG before moving forward with his investigation.
The Glover family and community activists are awaiting the outcome of the reopened investigation and have been critical of the coroner’s failure to share the documents he showed them in mid-December with the community. NAACP branch president Danatus King told The Louisiana Weekly in a recent interview that during the unannounced visit to the coroner’s office Minyard showed those in attendance a stack of documents but locked them out of the building and only gave them three pieces of paper when they returned to collect the documents promised by Minyard.
“We will continue to fight for justice in this case,” W.C. Johnson, a member of Community United for Change and host of local cable-access show “OurStory,” told The Louisiana Weekly. “This isn’t just the Glover family’s fight — it’s the Black community’s fight and the fight of everyone who values justice and equal protection under the law.
“This is not a fight we cannot afford to walk away from,” Johnson added.
Meanwhile, David Warren has launched an effort to recover fees and expenses used to present his legal defense.
Warren’s defense attorneys, Rick Simmons and Julian Murray, asked U.S. District Judge Lance Afrik earlier this month to force the U.S. Department of Justice to foot the bills for their client’s legal representation. The attorneys requested a hearing with Afrik in February.
In a document filed under seal on Jan. 10, Warren’s legal team accused prosecutors of engaging in a “systematic, deliberate pattern of prosecutorial misconduct in an effort to buttress a non-existent case in order to secure a conviction.” They defense attorneys also accused federal prosecutors of pressuring witnesses, ignoring evidence favorable to their client and presenting “prejudicial and inflammatory” evidence to taint jurors’ perceptions of Warren.
The Associated Press reported that prosecutors said in a Monday court filing that those allegations are baseless and promised to “vigorously” block the defense attorneys’ effort to recover fees and expenses.
Warren was convicted after being tried with several other NOPD officers in 2010 and sentenced to 26 years but he was granted a new trial after his attorneys argued that he should have been tried separately from the other officers in the case.
Warren testified during both trials that he shot Henry Glover because he felt threatened and thought the victim had a gun but says he did not know what happened to Glover after he was shot. A good Samaritan took Glover to a temporary police station in an Algiers school where Glover was reportedly beaten and shot in the head, His remains were later burned in the good Samaritan’s car on the Mississippi River levee and his skull was removed from the grisly murder scene. The skull has still not been returned for proper burial.
“For Officer Warren to ask the court to pay for his legal defense is like him asking someone to pay for the bullet he shot them with,” the Rev. Raymond Brown, a community activist and president of National Action Now, told The Louisiana Weekly. “While he may have not been found guilty in a court of law — yet — he still is responsible for taking an innocent human life.
“That’s the height of ridiculousness — for this cop to even think that he has the right to ask to be reimbursed for the money he used to defend himself in federal court,” Ramessu Merriamen Aha, a New Orleans businessman and former congressional candidate, told The Louisiana Weekly. “Since that money made it possible for him to get away with murder, I’d say that was money well spent.
“That just shows how little concern this man has for the family of Henry Glover,” Aha added. “Warren set this whole tragic series of events in motion when he decided he had the right as a police officer to shoot an unarmed Black man.
“My only question is, how many more David Warrens are there on the New Orleans police force and what is being done to root them out before another innocent life is taken. Justin Sipp, Wendell Allen, Adolph Grimes II and other victims of killer cops have found out that David Warren is not a lone wolf.”
Additional reporting by Louisiana Weekly editor Edmund W. Lewis.
This article originally published in the January 20, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.