Five current or former New Orleans police officers were charged over the fatal shooting and burning of a man during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
According to earlier published reports, police were using a school as a temporary headquarters on September 2 2005, when a group of men drove up looking for help for 31-year-old Henry Glover, who had been shot.
One of the men reportedly later told investigators that Mr Glover was still in the back seat when a police officer drove off with his car.
Mr Glover's burned remains were later recovered from the charred car when it turned up on a levee near a police station.
Prosecutors would not provide details last night of what they believe happened, but in indictments, former officer David Warren was charged with violating Mr Glover's rights by allegedly shooting him dead.
Along with a charge of unlawful use of a firearm, he faces a possible life sentence and a £172,000 fine.
Warren was immediately arrested after the indictment was handed up and taken into custody, the US Department of Justice said.
Others charged were former Lt Robert Italiano, Lt Dwayne Scheuermann, Lt Travis McCabe and Officer Gregory McRae.
Scheuermann and McRae are charged with obstructing justice and burning Mr Glover's body and the car in which he was found. They also are accused of assaulting residents who tried to help Mr Glover.
If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison and £690,000 in fines.
Italiano and McCabe are charged with obstruction of justice for their alleged roles in submitting false reports of the incident and lying to investigators. Italiano, if convicted, faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and a £345,000 fine. If convicted, McCabe could get 30 years in prison and a £517,000 fine.
The case is one of several civil rights investigations involving actions of the New Orleans Police Department after Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29 2005, plunging the city into flooding and civil chaos after levees broke.
A civil suit was filed on Tuesday against Warren, McRae and Scheuermann by Charlene Green, who says she is the mother of Mr Glover's son, also called Henry.Reuse content