Jury in police torture case begins third day of deliberations
June 8, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Jurors resumed deliberations Tuesday in the case of four white New York City police officers facing charges related to the beating and sexual torture of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant.
The panel of seven men and five women has asked for a read-back of testimony on Tuesday relating to the case against one of the defendants, Sgt. Michael Bellomo. Trial testimony also was read back on Monday, as the Brooklyn Federal Court jurors considered the case for a second day without reaching a verdict.
The jury got the case on Friday and deliberated for six hours before retiring for the weekend. Jurors, who are not being sequestered, must decide if the four officers violated Louima's civil rights.
Some of the testimony reheard on Monday centered around what happened once Louima was brought into a Brooklyn police precinct after he was arrested and allegedly beaten outside a nightclub in August of 1997.
The case began with five defendants, but one, Officer Justin Volpe, pleaded guilty midway through the trial of shoving a broom stick into Louima's rectum and then into his mouth.
Of the four remaining defendants, Officer Charles Schwarz is accused of holding Louima down in a stationhouse bathroom; Officers Thomas Bruder and Thomas Wiese are accused of beating him in a police car on the way to the stationhouse and Bellomo is charged with helping cover up the crime.
While Louima identified Volpe in court, he could only identify the second officer as the driver of the patrol car that brought him to the stationhouse.
Volpe assaulted Louima because he mistakenly thought Louima had punched him outside the nightclub.
Volpe faces possible life in prison, a fine of up to $1.5 million and an order to make restitution to Louima's family.
Louima suffered severe internal injuries from the assault and underwent three operations. He has not worked since and has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the city.
Police torture jury finishes second day without verdict
Official New York City Web site
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