The sentencing was the second for Gregory McRae, who spent 26 years in the New Orleans Police Department. Because other officers charged with the shooting or cover-up were acquitted or won appeals, he is the only one imprisoned for the death of Henry Glover.
McRae also appealed and won a partial victory, with one charge dismissed. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk was ordered to reconsider his sentence.
Prosecutors argued against giving McRae a more lenient sentence, saying that his action -- setting the car with Glover's body inside on fire -- helped shield other police officers.
McRae apologized to Glover's family at the hearing. His lawyer, Michael Fawer, called the fire a "callous, unthinking" act by an exhausted officer who did not know Glover had been killed by police.
"No matter how much time you serve, the Glover family is left with the haunting memory of a bag of bones," Africk said.