WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three current and two former New Orleans police officers have been charged in connection with the shooting death of a man just after Hurricane Katrina hit the city, the Justice Department said on Friday.
New Orleans resident Henry Glover was shot and killed on September 2, 2005, and his body was burned in a car to cover up the incident, prosecutors said in unsealing the indictment against the five men.
"Behavior such as described in the indictment has no place in a free society, let alone law enforcement," FBI special agent in charge David Welker said in a statement.
Former New Orleans police officer David Warren was charged with the death of Glover and could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. He was arrested on Friday after an indictment was returned against him.
Current officers, Dwayne Scheuermann and Gregory McRae, were charged with obstructing justice by burning the body as well as assaulting other civilians who tried to come to Glover's aid, prosecutors said.
If convicted, they each face up to 60 years in prison and $1 million fines.
Former police Lieutenant Robert Italiano and current Lieutenant Travis McCabe were charged with submitting false reports about the incident and making other false statements during the federal investigation.
Italiano faces up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, while McCabe faces a possible 30 years and $750,000 fine if convicted.
New Orleans sunk into chaos after the massive hurricane devastated the city. The new charges are the latest in a series against officers in the New Orleans police department.
Five other former New Orleans police officers have pleaded guilty to charges related to shootings on the Danziger Bridge after the hurricane that left two dead and four wounded.
The Justice Department's civil rights division, at the request of the city's mayor, is investigating allegations of excessive police force, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and racial profiling.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Alan Elsner)