Body of Evidence | The Nation


Body of Evidence

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After Glover's death, Tanner left town. Since he no longer had a car, his mother-in-law drove from Texas to pick him up. At the time Tanner was keeping a video diary, and in a scene shot in a motel room outside New Orleans he wonders aloud about the fate of his Chevy. Only after Tanner and his wife returned home on September 29, 2005, did they learn that someone had incinerated the vehicle, along with Glover.

About the Author

A.C. Thompson
A.C. Thompson is an award-­winning journalist on the staff of ProPublica

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A federal jury found three New Orleans police officers guilty in the shooting, burning and cover-up of the death of Henry Glover. Two officers were acquitted.

Television news reports are casting new light on the violence that
flourished in New Orleans in the anarchic days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Tanner and his wife say Homeland Security agents, who were assisting NOPD during that time, alerted them to the location of their charred vehicle. Despite the state of the car, the couple was able to identify it by the license plate and the vehicle identification number.

Still disturbed by the incident, Tanner met with Althea Francois, an organizer with Safe Streets/Strong Communities, a local police accountability group, in the spring of 2006. After interviewing Tanner, Francois typed up a detailed two-page description of the episode, an account that mirrors what Tanner and King told me later in interviews.

Francois, who regularly documents incidents of police misconduct, found Tanner's story convincing. "I was appalled," she tells me. "As unbelievable as it sounds, I believe it. He had no reason to lie about any of this." Safe Streets, Francois says, "just didn't have the resources" to find Tanner a lawyer to file suit over the episode.

When I show up to meet with Glover's mother, Edna Glover, at her west bank townhouse, I get a surprise. Hoping to glean some new information about Glover's death, his sister, brother, nieces, nephews and cousins have all crowded into the living room to talk with me. A framed photo of Glover decked out in a white tuxedo hangs on the wall.

NOPD, Edna says, never contacted the family about her son's death. "We didn't hear nothing," she mutters. To her knowledge, police didn't interview anyone else about the crime, either. Glover's sister, Patrice Glover, is teary as she tells me, "We want justice done. That was my brother, and we all loved him dearly. We wanna know who did it. We're all still hurting." Patrice says her family, like Tanner, has been unable to find a lawyer willing to bring suit against the NOPD.

After leaving Edna Glover's home, Tanner takes me to see the skeleton of his car, which, more than three years after the hurricane, is still sitting by the river, rusting away in the swampy air. Here, in this broken city, certain things have a way of being forgotten.

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