In an event that pretty much defines the lawlessness and racial tension that existed in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, five current or former policemen are on trial for murder after the officers allegedly shot, burned and then shot again resident Henry Glover.

One officer has publicly decried his alleged participation in the killing of Glover, calling it a “very bad decision.” The trial has been under way for more than a week.

The Guardian:

There’s not much mystery about how Henry Glover ended up a charred corpse in a burned-out car in the heart of New Orleans. One police officer has admitted to shooting the young black man. Another has confessed to throwing flares into the car where Glover lay covered in blood on the back seat. He then put a couple of shots through the window as the vehicle was consumed by fire. The officer has since called that “a very bad decision”.

Glover’s body was not recovered for weeks and proved so difficult to identify that it was nine months before his family could bury him. But it has taken five years to bring anyone to trial, and only then after the federal authorities waded in with accusations of an institutional cover up that continues to this day.

Glover died during the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina breached the city’s levees, flooding New Orleans and unleashing a wave of looting and violence. Five policemen are on trial over his death, but also in the dock are the city’s police department and local judicial system as a jury is asked to consider whether the devastation wrought by the hurricane in 2005 also blew away the rule of law.

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