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#2744: We're Going to Fight,' Says Wife of Ex-Officer (fwd)
We're Going to Fight,' Says Wife of Ex-Officer
By HELEN PETERSON Daily News Staff Writer _______March 7 2000
She stood amid tears and roiling emotions, her voice steady and calm.
For months, Andra Schwarz has led a campaign to overturn her husband's
conviction for his role in the Abner Louima sodomy attack. Yesterday,
after Charles Schwarz was again convicted, this time on federal
conspiracy charges, his wife again kept her composure as others wept.
She vowed not to give up. "We're going to fight. We're going to keep
fighting," the paralegal said minutes after the verdict. Nearby, Officer
Thomas Bruder consoled his girlfriend, who bent to retrieve a string of
black rosary beads from the floor."It's not over yet. I'm never giving
up this fight," he said. Co-defendant Thomas Wiese embraced his wife but
then broke away from her to comfort his mother, who collapsed along the
side of a corridor wall. "You told the truth. You told the truth," she
told him.It's okay," Wiese said, crouching down to hug her as she sat
on the floor. Wiese and Bruder were later fired by the NYPD."It's a
courtroom of injustice. God help anybody that has to be tried before a
federal court," said Estelle Ohnmeiss, Schwarz's mom.
Minutes later, Andra Schwarz faced a throng of reporters and television
cameras outside Brooklyn Federal Court. "We're still in shock. It's
difficult for us to put into words the disappointment, the dismay, the
horror," she said in the bright sunshine. "We know that God is on our
side, and we're going to see this through. We're not going to give up.
I'm very confident that this is going to work out."She said she
believes her husband shares her confidence, even after his emotional,
screaming reaction to the verdict. "It's going to take a while for him
to get his faith back up again, but he will; he's strong," she said. She
alluded to the recent trial of four cops in the Amadou Diallo shooting
in the Bronx as she said, "This is the worst possible time, I think,
for police officers to get a fair trial."
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch suggested
anti-police sentiment stemming from the Diallo shooting trial got to
jurors. "This was a jury that should have been sequestered, with the
anti-police atmosphere that was surrounding the steps of that
courtroom," Lynch said.