Five officers indicted on civil rights charges in torture case

NEW YORK (AP) — Five white police officers were indicted Thursday on federal civil rights charges in the case of a Haitian immigrant who was allegedly beaten and sodomized at a stationhouse with a stick.
Four of the officers already faced state charges in the alleged attack last August on Abner Louima, who spent two months in a hospital after his bladder and colon were ruptured. But the Brooklyn district attorney said he will drop the state charges next week.
The fifth officer, Michael Bellomo, is accused of helping the others cover up the beating and an assault on another Haitian immigrant, Patrick Antoine, the same night.
The attack on Louima, who is black, became a rallying cry for those who contend the New York Police Department is abusive, particularly to minorities. It prompted protest marches and became an issue in Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s re-election campaign.
Officers Justin Volpe, Charles Schwarz, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder were charged with conspiracy. They are accused of assaulting Louima in a police car after his arrest outside a nightclub Aug. 9.
Later that night, in a stationhouse bathroom, Volpe and Schwarz allegedly attacked Louima, kicking him and shoving a stick into his rectum and mouth while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
Volpe’s lawyer, Marvyn Kornberg, has said his client would plead innocent to any federal charges.