August 18, 1997 in Nation/World

N.Y. Police Boss Puts 700 On Brutality Probe

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

The city’s top police official said Sunday he has put all 700 of the department’s Internal Affairs investigators on a brutality case in which a Haitian immigrant says police sodomized him with a toilet plunger.

Police Commissioner Howard Safir also said he is ready to fire any officers who withheld knowledge of the alleged attack inside a Brooklyn station house.

“There’s no limit” on the investigation into the alleged torture of Abner Louima, Safir said. “We are going to pursue this to the very end.”

Two officers are accused of sodomizing Louima with the handle of a toilet plunger in a bathroom at the 70th Precinct station house after he was arrested for disorderly conduct on Aug. 9. Louima, 30, was hospitalized with a torn colon and other internal injuries

Officers Charles Schwarz, 31, and Justin Volpe, 25, were charged with aggravated sexual abuse and first-degree assault, and Safir has said as many as five officers might eventually face charges. Schwarz and Volpe were to be arraigned today.


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