Two New Orleans police officers convicted last year in the killing of a man during the chaos following Hurricane Katrina were sentenced Thursday in federal court.
In the wake of the hurricane, when the public needed the police the most, these officers betrayed that trust and killed a man, the sentencing judge said.
Former Officer David Warren got more than 25 years in prison, and current officer Greg McRae was sentenced to more than 17 years, the AP reports.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, many officers fled the city, leaving the police department with depleted forces. The National Guard was eventually dispatched to help prevent looting and control much of the city.
On Sept 2, 2005, Warren shot Henry Glover from the second floor of a strip mall that was being used as a police substation. Glover, who had been trying to pick some looted suitcases, was shot as he was running away, the NY Times reports.
As he Glover was dying, he was taken by a group of bystanders to a nearby school that was also being used a makeshift police station, according to the Times. There, police officers surrounded the men and handcuffed them.
Warren said he thought Glover had a gun and posed a threat when he shot him outside a police substation at a strip mall. The AP reports that U.S. District Judge Lance Africk called Warren's testimony absurd.
"Henry Glover was not at the strip mall to commit suicide. He was there to retrieve some baby clothing," Africk said, the AP reports. "You killed a man. Despite your tendentious arguments to the contrary, it was no mistake."
McRae, then an officer, drove off in a bystander's car with Glover, then burned his body and the car with a traffic flare.
"Your conduct was barbaric," Africk told McRae. "The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina was made uglier by your disturbing actions. ... At a time when more was expected of you, you failed miserably."