Reported retraction stirs up policE torture case

NEW YORK (AP) — The black Haitian immigrant who says white police officers sodomized him with a stick reportedly has retracted his claim that his attackers told him: “It’s Giuliani time.”
Abner Louima now says he doesn’t remember the officers making the remark about Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Village Voice reported Wednesday, quoting unidentified investigative sources.
That disavowal has led a federal grand jury to put on hold its investigation of the Aug. 9 incident, the weekly newspaper said.
The Voice reported that federal prosecutors don’t doubt Louima’s central allegation: that police beat him and sodomized him with a stick — perhaps the handle of a toilet plunger — after his arrest outside a nightclub. Louima suffered a ruptured bladder and colon and was hospitalized for two months.
One of Louima’s lawyers, Sanford Rubenstein, said: “Abner Louima remains a victim of torture by New York City police officers.” Wednesday that Louima never mentioned “Giuliani time” during interviews with police investigators after the alleged attack became public.
A lawyer for one of the officers said the Voice report cast doubt on Louima’s credibility.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, a black activist who ran for the Democratic mayoral nomination last year, said the issue was irrelevant.
“The term now in question is a footnote” to the case, said Sharpton, who has acted as an adviser to Louima. “No one is being prosecuted for their words. They’re being prosecuted for their actions.”
Justin Volpe, 25, and fellow officer Charles Schwarz, 31, are charged with assault and sexual abuse. Two other officers are charged with assault and other related crimes, including violation of Louima’s civil rights.