Abner Louima, Haitian Immigrant Sodomized By New York City Police Officers
Abner Louima is a Haitian who was born in Thomassin, Haiti, in 1966. He was trained as an Electrical Engineer, but in 1997, he used to work as a security guard in a water and sewage plant in Flatlands of Brooklyn. He was married, had one child and was living in the Brooklyn area for past six years. On August 9, 1997, Louima visited a popular nightclub "Club Rendez-Vous" in East Flatbush. Unfortunately, late in the night after visiting the club, he and some other fellow party-goers got in the middle of a brawl between two women. The police was called and several officers from the 70th Precinct were dispatched to the scene. The way police responded to the incident, instigated a large scuffle between the civilians and the officers. Officer Justin Volpe, the leader of the police incorrectly assumed Louima had struck him with a sucker-punch. Officer Volpe, along with his other officers named Charles Schwarz, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder, brutally attacked and beat Louima with their fists, nightsticks and two-way radios while taking him to the police station on a number of charges, like, disorderly conduct, obstructing government administration, and resisting arrest. In the police station at 70th Precinct, when Louima was handcuffed with hands behind his back, he was sexually assaulted in a bathroom. Volpe squeezed and kicked his testicles and shoved a wooden broom handle into his rectum. After the incident, Louima was taken to the emergency room of Coney Island Hospital where his escorting officers reported his injury as "a result of homosexual activity".
On March 29, 1999, jury selection began in the federal trial against the five cops indicted in the Abner Louima torture case. Officers Justin Volpe, Thomas Bruder, Charles Schwarz, and Thomas Wiese were charged with several counts of violating Louima's civil rights. A fifth cop, Michael Bellomo, had been charged with lying to cover up the incident.
Although, a decade and a half has passed since the brutal beating and savage sexual assault of NYPD', the incident is still remembered as a case that scarred both the city's race relations and its police force for years.« Previous · Next »