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September 1, 1999 | From Reuters
The fatal shooting by New York City police of a man alleged to have hit a sergeant with a hammer brought a fresh round of criticism Tuesday for a department already accused of brutality in several cases. Police responding to a complaint at a Brooklyn apartment fired about a dozen bullets Monday night at 31-year-old Gideon Basch, striking him in the torso several times and killing him.
June 26, 1999 | Associated Press
The imam of the mosque where Malcolm X once preached has been appointed the first Muslim chaplain of the New York Police Department. Izak-El M. Pasha, 48, will serve the NYPD for free because his religious beliefs prevent him from receiving compensation. The department has six other chaplains who are Catholic, Jewish and Protestant.
June 22, 1999 | From Associated Press
Two plainclothes police officers were indicted Monday on federal charges of lying to authorities investigating the torture of a Haitian immigrant in a police station bathroom. Rolando Aleman, 28, and Francisco Rosario, 34, were decorated members of the roving Street Crime Unit who were booking a gun suspect at the precinct at the time of the assault on Abner Louima on Aug. 9, 1997. During questioning, they "repeatedly lied and misled the federal government about what they saw in the station house that morning," said prosecutor Alan Vingrad.
Concluding a landmark police violence case, a New York officer was convicted Tuesday of holding a Haitian immigrant down in a precinct bathroom while another officer tortured him with a broomstick. But a federal jury acquitted three other officers charged in the explosive case.
June 5, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
The first day of jury deliberations in the Abner Louima police brutality case ended without a verdict. The jury, which is deciding whether four police officers violated Louima's civil rights by beating him or by covering up the crime, will return Monday to resume deliberations. Officer Charles Schwarz is accused of violating Louima's civil rights by holding him down in a Brooklyn station house while Officer Justin Volpe sodomized him with a broom handle.
June 4, 1999 | From Associated Press
Defense lawyers for officers accused in the beating of a Haitian immigrant accused prosecutors Thursday of using the improper actions of one cop to paint a portrait of widespread police abuse that does not exist. The case "was not about a culture of police brutality. . . . It was about one sick, depraved individual and the acts he committed," said lawyer Stephen Worth in his closing argument.
June 3, 1999 | From Times Wire Services
The patrolman who confessed to torturing a Haitian immigrant in a police station bathroom "was the driving force" behind the attack, but he had help from four other officers, a prosecutor said Wednesday. Federal prosecutor Alan Vinegrad reminded the jury during closing arguments in the four officers' trial that patrolman Justin Volpe, who pleaded guilty midway through the trial, did not act alone.
June 2, 1999 | From Times Wire Services
Defense lawyers for the remaining four New York police officers accused in the beating of a Haitian immigrant rested Tuesday after none of the defendants chose to testify in the racially charged case. Attorneys for defendants Charles Schwarz, Thomas Bruder, Thomas Wiese and Michael Bellomo renewed motions to have the case thrown out because of insufficient evidence. U.S. District Judge Eugene Nickerson denied the motions. Closing arguments were expected today.
May 27, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
The judge in the city's police torture case rejected motions for a mistrial and told the jury that the trial will go on without the officer who pleaded guilty the day before. U.S. District Judge Eugene Nickerson told jurors that Justin Volpe's plea of guilty to violating the civil rights of a Haitian immigrant shouldn't be used as evidence against the remaining four officers charged.
For a few minutes, the old bravado flickered on his face. Officer Justin Volpe was laughing Tuesday with his lawyers, just before he pleaded guilty to beating and torturing a Haitian immigrant with a broomstick in a Brooklyn police station. But reality sunk in as Volpe approached the bench: He grew ashen-faced when reminded that he could get life in prison for one of the most sadistic acts of police violence ever to be tried in a U.S. courtroom.
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