NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans police officer who was fired after a 2011 arrest for DWI and hit-and-run has been reinstated by the civil service commission.
Keyalah Bell, an eight-year police veteran, ultimately was cleared of the 2011 traffic violations.
In its ruling issued Tuesday, the Civil Service Commission determined that by the time the NOPD fired Bell last summer, the deadline for administrative discipline had expired.
As part of her reinstatement, Bell was awarded back pay going back to May 2011 when she was originally suspended.
Bell was off-duty when she was arrested following an accident in Algiers in which she hit a parked car. A short distance later, Bell’s car became disabled and came to a halt.
The accident came six months after Bell was a key witness in the Henry Glover trial, helping prosecutors build a case that Glover had been shot by a police officer in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Former officer David Warren is awaiting a retrial in the federal civil rights case after his earlier manslaughter conviction was overturned. Warren’s attorneys successfully argued that his trial should have been severed from two police co-defendants who were charged with burning Glover’s body and covering up the crimes.
It is not know if Bell will be called to repeat her testimony as a key witness against Warren.
In trial that will now be separate from Warren’s, former officer Travis McCabe is awaiting a retrial on charges that he helped falsify a police report to minimize police involvement in Glover’s killing.
A third ex-cop, Greg McCrae, remains behind bars serving a 17-year sentence after being convicted of violating Glover’s civil rights by burning the car containing Glover’s body with a roadside flare. Two other officers were acquitted in the case.