"Police Brutality In The United States." Lots Of Details, Deals Primarily With New York City And The Abner Louima Case And Racial Motivation

2580 words - 10 pages

During the late hours of August 9, 1997 (Human), a fight broke out just outside of a Brooklyn nightclub. The New York City Police were dispatched to the scene, and several individuals who were involved were arrested and taken to jail. To many, this seems like a daily occurrence?a fight breaks out, and the police come and arrest those involved. At first glance, this seemed like an all-too-common event. When things like these do occur, we as citizens believe that a night in jail and a few charges is all that will be brought against these people. To a man by the name of Abner Louima, however, this is not what happened. New York police officer Justin Volpe, believed that he was assaulted by Mr. Louima during the arrest, and sought revenge against him. Later that evening, after being allegedly beaten by several officers on the way to the station, Officer Volpe sodomized Abner Louima with a broken broomstick in a bathroom at the 70th precinct station in Brooklyn (Albanese). Louima was severely injured during the incident and spent two weeks in the hospital suffering several major internal injuries, including a ruptured bladder and colon. What happened that night to Mr. Louima was immediately brought to the attention of the public by the media, and much debate was spawned. The public was outraged that something of this caliber occurred, and the minorities made accusations of "racial profiling." Having suffered this inhumane treatment, Abner Louima quickly filed a lawsuit against the New York City government and the union representing the New York Police Department claiming officers conspired to create a "blue wall of silence and lies to obstruct justice." (Human) His civil rights suit accused police and the Police Benevolent Association officials of condoning an "environment in which the most violent police officers believed they would be insulated" from prosecution. On top of that, Louima sued for $115 million dollars for the actions and trauma that was inflicted on him. On May 16, 1999, almost two years after the events took place, Justin Volpe changed his plea to guilty and received 30 years imprisonment for violating Mr. Louima's civil rights. Not too long after that, a jury found Charles Schwartz, accused of holding Louima down during the attack guilty, and four other officers were convicted of lying in order to cover up what happened that night. All charges against Abner Louima were dropped, however, he still demanded reforms in the way the police department dealt with officers accused of abuse. Mr. Louima walked away from several previous deals, saying he wanted justice, not money. Johnnie Cochran, Mr. Louima's lawyer, said, "[his] client never wavered in his determination to change certain police procedures?The issue of money was resolved more than six months ago. It was never about money. It is about change. It is about what happened to Abner Louima, whether or not that was in vain, whether or not that could happen to any other citizen again,...

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