This may be one of the most disturbing entries in this entire list.
Abner Louima was a Haitian man who lived in Brooklyn with his wife and child. He had a stable job. Louima’s life was turned upside down on the night of August 9, 1997, when he attended Club Rendez-Vous in East Flatbush and tried to stop a fight between two women. NYPD offciers Justin Volpe, Charles Schwarz, Thomas Bruder, and Thomas Wiese, among others, arrived at the scene. There was a scuffle, in which Volpe claimed Louima “sucker-puned” him. Louima was arrested on charges of resisiting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstructing government administration.
Volpe would later admit he had mistaken Louima as his assailant. However, the damage was already done.
On the ride to the police station, arresting officers beat Louima with their fists, nightsticks, and radios. Upon arrival at the 70th precinct, Louima was strip-searched and put in a holding cell. The beatings would continue later, culminating in Louima’s sexual assault at the hand of Officer Justin Volpe in a bathroom at the precinct. Volpe kicked Louima in the testicles, then forcibly grabbed and squeezed Louima’s testicles, all before sodomizing Louima with a broomstick. Volpe then carried the bloody and excremeent-covered broomstick through the precinct, bragging to a police sergeant that he “took a man down tonight.”
After the incident, police took Louima to a hospital on Coney Island, where they tried to pass off Louima’s injuries as “abnormal homosexual activities.” ER nurse Magalie Laurent suspected otherwise, informing Louima’s family and NYPD Internal Affairs. Louima had severe internal damage to his colon and bladder, which required three surgeries to correct. He was hospitalized for two months.
Officer Justin Volpe was sentenced to 30 years without possibility of parole, a fine, and over $275,000 in restitution for his actions against Abner Louima.
Brooklyn, New York
August 9, 1997