NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A key witness in the criminal investigation of police shootings after Hurricane Katrina sued New Orleans, its mayor, police chief and seven officers, claiming he was harassed and intimidated so severely he had to be put in the federal witness protection program.
Bernard Calloway sued the city and its officials for $2.5 million in Federal Court.
Calloway claims he was witness to the first stages of the police attack on Henry Glover, whom police shot, then drove to a levee in a Chevy Malibu, where they set the car ablaze.
On Sept. 2, 2005, three days after Katrina hit New Orleans, Calloway says, he was walking with Henry Glover, 31, behind an Algiers strip mall on General DeGaulle Drive. Calloway says in his complaint that New Orleans police Officer David Warren, on the second floor of the strip mall, “fired his assault rifle at Mr. Glover injuring him severely.”
The complaint continues: “After Mr. Glover was shot, Mr. Calloway ran to get assistance from Mr. Glover’s brother Edward King and his sister, Patrice Glover. Mr. King flagged down a passing Chevy Malibu driven by William Tanner to transport Mr. Glover to a location where he could receive assistance for his gunshot wound.
“Mr. Tanner then drove Mr. Glover, Mr. Bernard Calloway and Mr. Edward King to a local school that was functioning as a temporary police station. The men sought the assistance of the officers for the bleeding Glover who was still in the rear seat of the vehicle.
“Captain Jeff Winn and Officer Greg McRae of the New Orleans Police Department handcuffed Mr. Tanner, Mr. Calloway and Mr. King. At this time on e of the officers beat the aforementioned individuals.
“Captain Winn instructed Officer McRae to drive Mr. Glover to a secluded spot on the Algiers levee. Lieutenant Dwayne Scheurmann was instructed to follow officer McRae in another vehicle.
“Mr. Tanner’s Malibu, which contained Mr. Glover’s remains, was set ablaze, causing his body to be burned beyond recognition and leaving DNA as the only method of identification of the remains.
“Plaintiff, who was totally unaware of the entire circumstances regarding this incident and subsequent cover-up, but was later harassed by NOPD officers investigating the matter at a later date and subsequently placed in federal witness protection by the U.S. Attorney’s Office during the federal criminal trial of the NOPD defendants.
“Plaintiff was totally estopped from filing a suit in this matter due to fear of reprisal from the NOPD officers listed above and their colleagues, given their continued cover-up and adamant denial of any wrongdoing which resulted in Mr. Glover’s senseless death and the barbaric desecration of his body.
“Mr. Calloway’s fear from reprisal has resulted in a continued relocation out of this State and away from the City of New Orleans.
“Mr. Calloway was the only non-police officer victim/witness present at the moment of the shooting and who was called at trial to testify as to the ongoing criminal conspiracy.
“The fear from reprisal by cooperating in the federal criminal trial and continued cover-up have injured Mr. Calloway.
“Additionally, the original police report of the incident written by Sergeant Purnella Simmons was altered in an attempt to foster the cover-up. Additionally she admittedly lied to the Federal Grand Jury during the federal investigation of this matter. These bold faced lies and the continued cover-up discredited Mr. Calloway and continued to violate his rights thus denying him due process of the law by the very state actors meant to protect and serve.”
Calloway seeks punitive damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium, and other charges.
He is represented by Cameron Landry.
Officer McRae was convicted of obstructing justice and other charges for burning Glover’s body and was sentenced in March 2011 to 17 years in federal prison.
Officer Warren was sentenced to 25 years for manslaughter, according to contemporary press reports.
Criminal investigations of the alleged coverup are continuing.