News

New Developments in Post-Katrina Shootings

Yet another officer has been implicated in covering up the death of Henry Glover, who died while in the custody of the New Orleans Police Department, the New Orleans Times-Picayunereports. NOPD officer Greg McRae is being investigated by the FBI for playing a role in torching the car of William Tanner with Glover's remains inside. Tanner had sought aid for the Glover after discovering him bleeding from gunshot wounds in the Algiers section of New Orleans in the days after the storm hit. Glover's troubling death while in police custody wasfirst broken by The Investigative Fund in an article by A.C. Thompson that appeared in The Nation last year, triggering a federal investigation and the empaneling of a federal grand jury.

Two other NOPD officers, Captain Jeff Winn and Lieutenant Dwayne Scheuermann, both highly decorated officers, had earlier become targets of the federal investigation into the incineration of Tanner's car. All three officers were members of the NOPD's SWAT unit during the storm. Tanner tried to save Glover's life by bringing him to the SWAT team's temporary base at a local elementary school, but was instead assaulted by NOPD officers, he says, while Glover lay bleeding to death in the back seat of his car.

As the Times-Pic reports, investigators now believe it was a police officer who shot Glover in the first place.

Thompson has also uncovered new evidence identifying the attacker in the near fatal shooting of Donnell Herrington, another post-Katrina attack that was first broken by The Nation and The Investigative Fund. As Thompson reports in a recent post for ProPublica, which has done extensive followup reporting on the wave of unprosecuted post-Katrina attacks in collaboration with Frontline and the Times-Picayune:

No one has ever been charged in the incident, but now, more than four years later, at least two figures have come forward with information implicating a neighborhood man in the attack. These two people linked Roland Bourgeois Jr. to the shooting in interviews with ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS’ “Frontline.”

Terri Benjamin, who lived in the area, said she saw Bourgeois, 47, pledge to shoot anybody with skin “darker than a brown paper bag” while clutching a shotgun. At one point, she said, he held up the blood-drenched baseball cap of a man who’d just been shot.

Bourgeois’ mother, Pam Pitre, said her son did fire his shotgun at an African-American man that day in Algiers Point, and acknowledged that he kept the man’s hat. Pitre, who insists her son “is not a racist,” said Bourgeois was accompanied by another man who also fired shots.

Benjamin recounts this episode on camera here. You can check out The Investigative Fund's 2009 video, in which Herrington recalls the attack, here.

About the reporter

Esther Kaplan

Esther Kaplan

Esther Kaplan is a radio and print journalist and editor of the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. She has written for The Nation, The American Prospect, In These Times, The Village Voice, and other publications.

×

We bring hidden stories to light. Don’t miss the next one! Get our free newsletter now.

Subscribe