A former New Orleans policeman has been convicted of shooting a man dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and another officer for burning his body.
And in one of the ugliest chapters in the police department’s troubled history, a jury also convicted a third officer of writing a false report on the shooting of 31-year-old Henry Glover.
Two others were acquitted of charges stemming from the alleged cover-up.
The New Orleans jury of five men and seven women convicted David Warren of the manslaughter of Mr Glover outside a shopping mall on September 2 2005. Prosecutors said Warren shot the unarmed man in the back.
Officer Gregory McRae was convicted of burning Mr Glover’s body in a car. Lieutenant Dwayne Scheuermann was acquitted of that charge and both officers were also cleared of beating the men who had brought the dying Mr Glover to a makeshift police compound in search of help.
Lt Travis McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on the shooting and lying to the FBI and a grand jury. Lt Robert Italiano was cleared of submitting the false report and lying to the FBI. “This was a case that needed to be aired,” US District Judge Lance Africk said after the verdicts were read.
But Rebecca Glover, Mr Glover’s aunt, said: “This has been a long, anguishing time. All of them should have been found guilty. They were all in on it.”
Warren, 47, who has been in custody since his indictment earlier this year, faces a maximum life sentence.
A total of 20 current or former New Orleans police officers have been charged this year in a series of US Justice Department civil rights investigations. The probe into Mr Glover’s death was the first of those cases to be tried.
It is not the first time government authorities have tried to clean up the city’s police force. The Justice Department launched a broad review of the force in the 1990s, when it was reeling from a string of lurid corruption cases. An officer, Antoinette Frank, was convicted of killing her patrol partner in a 1995 robbery. Another officer, Len Davis, was convicted of arranging the 1994 murder of a woman who had filed a brutality complaint against him.