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7459: Civil Settlement in NY Sexual Torture Case (fwd)

From: nozier <nozier@tradewind.net>

Thursday March 22 8:40 AM ET
 Civil Settlement in NY Sexual Torture Case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Abner Louima, victim of one of the worst police
brutality    cases in New York history when he was sexually tortured in
a police station in 1997,
has reached a $9 million civil settlement that  dropped his demands to
reform the        NYPD, the Daily News reported Thursday.  No formal
announcement has been made
 but the newspaper quoted unidentified lawyers familiar with the Haitian
immigrant's tentative settlement with the city as saying a court hearing
to sign it has been scheduled for March 28. Neither Louima's attorney
nor city lawyers could immediately be
 reached to comment on the report, which said the city and the police
officers union would share the cost of the settlement. Attorneys for the
union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, were also not available
for comment.
 The Daily News said there was a breakthrough in months of negotiations
when former security guard Louima gave up his bid to break down the
so-called ``Blue Wall of Silence'' -- specifically a rule that allows
officers under suspicion to avoid police questioning for 48 hours over
alleged excessive use of force.
 ``It appears Louima caved on that,'' the newspaper quoted one
unidentified lawyer in the case as saying. ``I guess he wanted the
money.'' The New York Police Department has eliminated the 48-hour rule
for sergeants, lieutenants and captains and has vowed to extend that to
police officers in contract negotiations with the union.
 In the early hours of Aug. 9, 1997, Louima was beaten by police
officers after his arrest in a street melee outside a nightclub. One
officer rammed a stick into his rectum in the bathroom of Brooklyn's
70th precinct stationhouse. The racially-charged attack -- Louima is
black and his attackers are white -- shocked the city and mobilized
civil rights activists to demand reform of the nation's largest police
 Four police officers were convicted on criminal charges in an emotional
trial in Brooklyn federal court in 1999. Justin Volpe, the officer who
admitted sexually torturing Louima, was sentenced to 30 years in prison,
while Charles Schwarz was convicted of restraining Louima in the
bathroom and is serving 15 years. Schwarz and two other officers, Thomas
Bruder and Thomas Wiese, were convicted of conspiring to cover up
Schwarz's role.