WWL>Topics>>12-12-13 1:10pm Angela: on the David Warren acquittal

12-12-13 1:10pm Angela: on the David Warren acquittal

Dec 12, 2013|

Angela talks about the David Warren acquittal with Warren's attorney Rick Simmons, former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg, and WWL-TV's Mike Pearlstein.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well it is a spectacular day outside again we're loving the cold weather equally loved that sunshine. We have some very interesting topics today in and the first one I think everyone is going to be very interest to him. It is what happened last night it was NO PD officer David Warren. Who spent three and a half years in prison for the killing of Henry Glover in the days after Hurricane Katrina. But today a free man following a new trial that ended with a not guilty verdict last night. So what we're asking is what changed. To talk about that is attorney for David Warren Rick Simmons. We also have former US attorney and legal analyst Harry Rosenberg. And by phone channel four investigative reporter Mike pearl Steen who covered the trial and I think each and every one of you for being with us. Let's do a quick sort of background David warrant was awarded a new trial. Because the fifth Circuit Court agreed that this case should have been separated. From the cases of the other officers who after Henry Glover was shot had taken the car he was in and earned it. So that was the basis for which there was a new trial. Correct we felt like they should have been severance and the first trial. And distinguishing those two acts and focusing only on mr. Warren's actions and that's what got us a second trial that's the main difference. Head to attempted. Before the first drop to get that separated or yes we filed numerous motions for severance which recited by the fifth circuit. Stating that these issues have been granted through the trial. At some point time it became apparent that the jurors could not to isolate those actions of mr. Warren at the applause of verses what happened afterwards. This time. The government's case was two days long last time it was almost 23 weeks long the whole trial was about four and a half weeks. I'm gonna pick on Harry Rosenberg who had been our US attorney pat and a prosecutor so. Going back to that original trial. You would not have wanted separated. Absolutely not you want all -- individual officers. On standing trial together that's exactly what the civil rights division Warner that's what -- got an odd thing is it. Was reflected in a number of the verdicts because the all the graphics sites. And the images. That the government was able to portray Angelo particular regarding. The burning -- from mr. Glover is body spilled over inevitably. To the other defendants. Coupled with some of the -- accusations. All false statements. And false police reports. There were all part of that draw which again spilled over. To mr. Warren. Mr. Simmons what's. Your client said he did shoot -- -- issue was why. Well first of all that he thought he missed initially I mean over time we stipulated by the time trial they. That his shot that killed mr. Glover by Tom we got to the proceedings but that initially he thought he missed because mr. Glover. Ran away. And he saw him running into the distance -- that many believed he had not hit him initially. But the difference this time was as -- say. The focus was only on that particular shock if not what happened afterwards and I think that made the difference this time we think we've got a fair trial and -- -- -- -- the results. -- Henry Glover ran away and shot ran away and David -- never saw him again. And that's that's correct. And George when he he saw him running down the street he thought -- miss because if he's getting he thought to be body on the ground that wasn't the case so that was his recollection. Until all the events -- come. Through the investigation showed that that the shot had hit him. But he did know that time. Mike pearl -- you sat in during the trial. Gesture overall thought. Well it -- From a journalistic perspective this should be looked at as a tragedy for all involved. In the -- astrology. It's Katrina tragedy. That there were no winners in. Obviously. The Glover family. Friends and supporters. -- angered disappointed by this verdict. And especially in light of the fact that day. Have a conviction. And they thought some measure of justice. Three years ago that the first trial but to have this dredged up. And tried again only can get a quilt. Seem to -- to the staying there that we have to be mindful. Toward family. Here's a man is now free cleared by jury. That he did not violate. Any law. Specifically. -- civil rights of mr. Glover. I hit it -- isn't present. And that's kind that he cannot get the for something that -- over the justified shooting that you could see it as verdict was read and the Glover family. Broke out in tears and sobs. But it was a celebration on the other side. -- family. They hugged and cried with some relief particular recognize very clearly. That this is a tragedy it's something that that shouldn't have happened it -- -- man's life and of -- cost. And other -- and three years in prison. Let -- go back if we can if you could. Paint the picture force of that date as you know it and where David Lauren was in the some strip mall in the West Bank. And he had a partner there correct and gave regarding the regarding this itself. That was their duty station there was a substation there and that was -- primary duty to there was no food there and there was nothing but it. But to merchandise places and substation which had valuable information files and everything else that was their primary game. And that the partner was a key witness. The stories deviate. Mr. Warren said he was in the breeze way where his partner said. On three different occasions she placed herself. And the far mall in -- on the balcony then finally behind a locked gates of her story changed which I think injury picked up. So there's two different versions of what happened as far as what the injuries confront. Furthermore there at some other witnesses for the government who were inconsistent. And I think that's what occurred. On one issue the government tried to say was that. In this particular case. The gates were chain them locked and therefore. Mystical or could not get into those gates. Well what happened was I think the witnesses they. They call to the stand there remembering reconstruct that since 2000 month that's when the investigation started. And I and my guess is they went to the scene saw that there were chains on the gates at that time and all three of them said -- returning well. We found. I know the witness. For the second trial. The man who purchased the change in and locks and he says he put them on post-Katrina. Which -- all three of them it just manufacture. A sick -- affected by -- by suggestion looking at him in 2000 month as they were there then. I think they gave that testimony. They were very scared. On the testifies to. FBI agents and prosecutors which I thought was unusual shoring up their doorstep. And at that they've got scared and they started thinking in terms of their job security. And the result is the reconstructive memories the only thing we had. From the government's case knows no CSI. For those who were big CSI fans this was not a case. We stipulated the DNA of and that there really wasn't much of forensics. Of forensics to to deal with the there was a stipulation that shorten the trust this was a crime -- not like we see every day tragically. There's no pictures taken know what -- now yellow tape right. Ordinarily you'll see on a little marking where casings felt. Well if you had that she would know whether the partner story was correct or whether mr. Warren's story -- they were long 5060 feet away from. From the two locations. I could have another element and do that thought what was -- to -- -- -- this jury. We're at three different versions. One and David Warren -- it. Glover. And -- with -- art -- were rushing toward. Toward the building. Linda Howard. Also on the balcony. Said that it appeared that the network running way and then a third person Bernard how away who is with Glover says. From his recollection. Glover was on the side of the truck -- the cigarette. And that's just kind of it's part of what. Difficulties that this jury and in. You know come to verdict is probably spent the better part of fourteen hours deliberating. They were -- there was no forensic or scientific evidence of physical evidence they've really had to. Decide who believe. Memories fade over time some members blocked out because it was such traumatic incident. Disciplines more than eight years ago that was just one of the many. Diet version bird in that this story to sort through it comes to there are -- that -- Stay with us we're gonna continue this conversation about the trial of David Warren who was set free last night I'm Angela under the WL. David Warren who spent three and a half years in prison for killing Harry Glover Henry excuse me. Is now out for in new trial he was acquitted. And we have. Fortunately the attorney for David warrant Rick Simmons and former US attorney legal analyst Terry Rosenberg and also reporter Mike pearl staying with us. To go over this trial. Let's talk about the intense because again. Your client said he shot to this man so it was why. Well yes and and what we argued to the jury Michael council -- Murray. Suggested that this case was about a split second decision that had to be made where every police officers. Nightmares. Where you have to make that decision to pull the trigger and perhaps take a life or not pull the trigger and maybe give your own life. And so we focused on that at that point in time it's a matter the intent. To -- the perception. And the instructions given by judge effort basically said you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. This was my usual Sunday day at the mall you have a history of one week. Where the civil unrest. Two days before one of the officers had got shot and perhaps he waited too too many seconds and he was wounded so -- environment. Season. Our client is that at the mall peace in Houston station he's in his uniform. And mr. Glover and his companion pulled up Bridgestone Firestone truck. Which he apparently did -- know how to drive it comes to a screeching halt. You police officer. Seeing these events with that have concern for their safety it gets elevated and then when he went toward seagate. On my client far keep in mind before that he yelled police get back please give back so those are all. Parameters that are being. Set by. By mr. Warren -- don't come here don't come here at some point Tom he just fires -- life. Let me ask in my correctness and it prior to Henry -- coming up another person income and David Martin and -- and a warning shot. Yeah well there's two different instances right before mr. Glover came up to other young ladies came in -- And they were pushing a basket was with stolen goods and mr. Warren says are those years they said no decently from the -- Malone. Leave the premises. So he was out shooting looters who shot somebody but he didn't use warned them and told him to leave -- The the other -- you're talking about there was some outs person who's gay unions suspicious activities he was on bicycles circling around circling around. And he fought at that when -- can maybe. Casing the joint if you will and there's no reason -- there's no food -- nothing but merchandise. And so he did take a warning shot pretty calculated where he was gonna hit. Even the government establishing Sullivan marksman. Then he -- he didn't hit anyone he -- and shot into. To the bank of now missile -- debris so there's no concern about safety. And warning shots and not usually allowed except maybe in country areas. Or some exceptional circumstances. And this was an exceptional circumstance -- we admitted that ordinarily don't do that. But he had no other backup and you can't call for backup and you take these actions to protect yourself again if you say it's of the moment I'm just. Just curious why he wouldn't have an archived on one shot like that the same money in this. -- the difference was this the one on the bicycle was halfway. Across the -- park -- long way away. When the car pulled up who's going towards seagate and the significance of the -- is what you get inside the -- it's sort of a honeycomb. Area where two people on one that could surrounding them and take advantage of and that's really felt like once again -- He figured as he put it that I'm announcing my son's Thurber and. And Angela if I could let me just and inject one thing. On for and first ball and I do want to echo what Mike said. Hell -- this is a tragedy for all parties on the and its emotional turmoil. For the Glover family as well most of the -- family -- mean clearly they both have suffered. But. Getting back to withdraw all mean as -- -- Rick would acknowledge this was almost a trial -- transcript. Because. While both sides the government and the and warned lawyers have a transcript of what occurred back. Back in 2010. Where I think the difference was important. Is that mr. Warren was able to refine his earlier testimony. Where he said I thought I saw an object in mr. Glover hand. To this time around in this -- this week and last week he said. Hi I saw an object that and I recognize at least part of a barrel and part of the pistol. On and off fear for my life. And that -- -- was was very telling because it allowed Rick and his co counsel to argue more forcefully. That Warren was. Concern for his own well being. Right correct rather then just I saw some thing and it's amorphous. And that's about all locked its and who knows what. Might happen to the prosecution pick up on that saying well look he's changed his story because he now needs that more. Yes say they crossed on that but I don't think that was at large deviations considered still an object in his hand. We suggested that he said there was a gun he -- sent from the beginning there was a gun and they took -- hit it. But he said it always appeared to be and that was -- consistent with what he'd said all along. So I don't think there was -- much of the deviation it courtesy said it was got a consistent but the but the fact is bricks and bricks a good -- and I think that was an important distinction. For the jury to hear is -- Warren said I saw part of what's gone in mystical lover's hand. And I was concerned for my safety and again it was on law and therefore. This this individual -- -- mr. Glover couldn't charged at me and shot me and that's the -- -- -- one of the things. They came up at the trial and a lot of the officers acknowledge this. When you're in the dangerous situation the first thing you look for is the hands the hands of the killers in and in terms of police officers Hewlett for the -- If you go into your glove box. When they steal a car I mean that's it that's it that's the hands hands going somewhere and that's what he. He tried this suggest all the way through that that's what was occurring and the problem with these type the statement says Harry says. You go through testimony after testimony. Here a year and you know people's memories fade a little bit at some time to get better I mean. -- -- looking at is the sense of what happened that is he thought something was in his hand he thought he was in danger he fought when he got through the gate that his life was was he threatened. Attractive and are sure to count on -- split second tragedy that was. It's pretty clear that. Whatever -- correctly whether cleverly is charging toward the building anyway just standing there. At that moment of truth and shot was fired. It wasn't split second and obviously. There that's where -- make a judgment call. David Ward of the stands in different life. Issued a verbal warnings. That all of that appeared have happened in the second quarter two. One of the things that the government brought -- that the jury obviously had to sort through -- -- get long and police confront people with guns. Without shooting. Initial warning dropped the weapon different distance of 66 feet away. Is it very much appears. Henry Glover was surprised. To find somebody there to be confronted. Maybe he would have dropped whatever it was that cigarette lighter or show his opinions -- nothing. And then the given an extra second to bring you little frontal way. And this kind of -- somewhat differently and again you know one thing that struck mean. Was after the verdict in the motion or out from the audience that several jurors also broke down in tears. Knowing that you know they've had to make difficult decisions. And there were no winners. The jury also recognize that believe. That it was a tragedy. And it really you know bloat to split second that they -- just basically decide. Whether a crime is committed. We're going to continue our talk about this trial but first let's go to Dave Cohen in the -- we're talking about the shooting nova Henry Glover. Officer David Warren was convicted of that -- -- and -- half years in jail. And -- was retried and is now free. And so we are talking with his attorney. Rick Simmons and also US attorney legal analyst Harry Rosenberg and Mike pearl saint got to be well investigative reporter and Mike made an interesting comment about. That that just milliseconds. Really to make these decisions and mr. Simmons you're saying that. It was just very important to get that across in the jury. That this wasn't the typical right. In any type of shooting like this involving a police officer a split second decisions that he made. But and you had to go into the mind the the police officer what's at the background for this. This was not the ordinary Sunday afternoon the mall -- Excuse during mandatory evacuation. And they should be a lot of people on the streets should be curfews that should be obeying them so first the mere presence on the scene. Is an indication that there may be something amiss that they could be innocently walking are traveling. But that wouldn't what hurt you pull up in the stolen truck at a Firestone logo. And client really recognize it stolen truck -- come at a high rate of speed with a break. And then you disobey the order so. You have to look at the backdrop the totals circumstances in which a person has to make a split second decision to officers says police. Stop get out here yet. And you're saying they didn't they just kept moving forward. Correct and from his perspective they were going to be -- if they were running in that direction perhaps but it's that you go back to his perception. This perception was they were going to the game and that's when he decided to -- And -- and is just that. In contrast to use all the launch upon. So -- Katrina defense that we've heard all frequently in the Danziger bridge case and that verdict still up in the air. That fought all of warned -- richter and his co counsel to -- Murray. Were able to use the back drop all the Danziger -- that Katrina aftermath. As alone. An effective means of putting in context. What mr. Warren was faced with -- and the circumstances. That he was faced with -- the what the jury understand. Well that he did have a split second. At least. According to his testimony. And that there is deference given to a police officer frequently. -- -- those two circumstances. Thank converge to help mr. Warren in this case when he when this issue was the only issue fraud. As opposed to all the other issues that we're -- the first opera has -- This time what we did we went through the 34 days before the shooting and just show what his state of mind -- for the 434 days. Leading shooting. And he's called to the scene of a police shooting finds out it's fellow officers to take a bullet to the back of the head. Two days later he's garden one of the suspects. In Houston Jefferson hospital because that the suspect had been wounded by another officer. In the arrest. And he looks out the -- On. Oakwood mall on fire. I mean this is the backdrop he did this even news reports that sound like things were deteriorating he told the jury I'm thinking worst. Where's the military was a federal government were overwhelmed. It's all this is that. This is the backdrop that split second decision which he hit its own private -- had a national rifle that was yes and that became an issue but. I think the the evidence would probably show. And a lot of the police men who showed up brought their own weapons quite frankly. -- when they went to the superdome. And the convention center. They brought the long weapons because it was sort of -- when you see that it's mourn and moreover frightening. Look but on the other hand that's a deterrent might blow up control rights and. I have to say and again I was not in there might roasting laws and certainly Harry. What the prosecution was trying to say is is that. He was. Sounds flippant and I don't mean to be that almost trigger happy. Yes there were these circumstances. But this was a man who was an expert marksman. And -- just as -- not my words there is he shot because she could then. Because of what was going on he felt it was -- this is nobody's gonna fondness. That. Would make no sense because you're you've got a partner right there on the scene with you -- to me says what she's -- she observed. And that and we think she made up some things and I think she was very confused traumatized I don't know what's the story is -- -- at three different times she had a record statement. Indicating she was in the -- of the mall. Initially and then came to the back later didn't see anything that's a first version next version. 45 days later she's out there with a photographer from the FBI and she says she's on the balcony. 45 days later so with it's almost three months she calls her attorney who called the prosecution. And they say. Well she was wrong she is not on -- on the balcony she was inside the locked -- For reconstructing the members and tonight at three different positions the problem when she testified that she moved inside escaped. She was in a position where she cannot physically see. Everything she sought out on the street and we presented that we've got someone to measure the consumer. A manhole cover how far down the street was and took a photograph from the balcony. And photographs from behind the locked gate when you -- on the lucky you cannot see. Where mr. -- felt so -- People are remark saying particular incident story okay thank you how Baghdad. I will lose in the war on Iraq Katrina. And its aftermath. And I can say that it was not usual to see police officers wouldn't. A non standard weapons copy with a shotgun. Somewhere doable the time. You know the -- behind adapt. You know you've got to the point where. And that was the new normal during Katrina that part was not alarming. But I will say that it does seem that this second trial affected by the fact that. You only had one manager or from the war. And all of the jurors. When they were questioned during jury selection. That they did not hear about this. Killing and its aftermath the burning -- lover's body. -- the cover up and any news accounts so it was really. Fresh pair Biden -- Listening to this. -- I'm not being in the oil and you can presume -- -- some leaders. It did not have the cubic experience. Of what happened but some of the things that they did here. Including the fact that David Warren. Saw the Oakwood mall burning because of looters. He rolled up on the scene in which have -- this officer was shot in the head. They also heard that. Henry Glover was driving in stolen. Firestone -- They heard that he was going to this mall to retrieve. A suitcase left spies sister in law and friend. Now. To someone who wasn't didn't go to the Katrina experience that may seem like. Every level would have to -- it doesn't -- truck is going to pick up looted goods if you're in Katrina. You do very quick distinct in most journalists. Between looting for profit. Electronics. -- the or forging for necessities to get byes to live to escape to city. I don't know how old this jury. You know -- -- all that information but again. Having a jury panel. That was very distance from Katrina and not having any of this incident. Certainly that the backdrop of Katrina played very -- world. Kept -- on the break we'll be right back. I'm just like to ask mr. Simmons and Harry I know this is sort of far fetched but for the general public and I'm putting myself in that group. Whether it's this case of the dancing her case which Reno has is going to be retried and I know that the US attorney's office is appealing that and we try. But content is all in one. And it's about cops being perceived doing bad things. I'm just curious what your thoughts are on how this verdict might influence other trials coming up. Com. Let me say this I think what's happened to this investigation. -- the civil rights division -- Pena with a broad brush all the new Orleans police officers that state they're so many of them that did the the right thing left their families and perform. Properly. And up until yesterday that that was mr. The perception of the public as far as mr. -- and I think you have to step back and take a look at individual cases and that's what's gonna happen in the future and to -- He can look at each one of them and if you can examine. Can -- it's on the same results. It's something when her stunning distance and time and new line it's are going to be looking at these cases. That's that's exactly right Angela and and frankly the civil rights division. On as a there. Tremendously high. All successful. Rate in terms ago from getting convictions. All but. If you just look at this particular case. Right now it they've only got a 40%. Success rate so far and they still have to draw -- decide to -- Travis McCabe. Since he got a new trial there only at 20%. Which is highly unusual. Whether that is going to be indicative of all the cases in this community or not we'll have to say but I do agree with rape. People who are going to be serving on the jury and the general public will be looking at cases. Fact by fact and not making generalizations against police offices for the federal government. We'll be right back I wanna thank Harry Rosenberg I wanna thank Dave. My frosting and Rick Simmons because I think. We all need to know more about this case as it was expressed by everyone was a real tragedy all around. I just have to say that I have since learned that Rick Simmons did this entire trial pro -- And I think that's a very important and that along Michael counsel Jean Marie also bogus. That we run out of resources after the first for. So which you clearly feel the justices' answer yes and the family of Henry Glover is in pain in you recognized that too. Yes and we said that we said team to the jury. There's no winners here just survivors. Starting your final thoughts and thirty seconds. Well. Tragedies of this word this whole thing. We hope to still be some healing in the community there's still more cases coming in. But does the best things for people take an individual look at the individual cases. Thank you all for joining us now let's join date Cullen in the --