A former New Orleans police officer has asked a federal judge to disqualify himself from presiding over his retrial on charges he fatally shot a man without justification in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath before the man's body was burned in a car.
A court filing Monday by lawyers for the former officer, David Warren, says U.S. District Judge Lance Africk made comments on the case that could call his impartiality into question.
Despite objections from the city, a federal judge has approved a sweeping agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans designed to clean up the city's troubled Police Department.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu had invited Justice Department intervention in the department soon after taking office in 2010 and had sought the agreement as a way of putting reforms into law. But throughout months of negotiations, he had expressed concerns about the potential costs.