Its seem as if most incidents of brutality in New York involve either sodomy or the shooting of unarmed and innocent civilians. As disturbing as the events actually are, even more disturbing is the amount of times that officers are acquitted for their actions. Here are some of the most disturbing occurrences of police brutality in New York in recent memory.
1. Abner Louima.
What happened to Abner Louima would’ve been disturbing if it happened in the Abu Graib prisons. Abner Louima was at a club in Brooklyn when a fight broke out. Policeman, Justin Volpe, mistakenly took Louima for a man who sucker punched him and began beating him up on the street.
Officers took Louima back to the precinct where Volpe continued to beat him. Volpe Kicked him in the testicles and sodomized him with a broomstick, causing critical internal damage. After he was done, Volpe, proudly displayed the excrement and blood stained broomstick to his co-workers and boasted that he had broken a man. Volpe then threatened to kill Louima and his family if he told anyone.
Volpe admitted in court to sodomizing Louima and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Only one other cop involved in the incident, Chris Schwartz, served any time. Louima sued the city successfully for $5.8 million.
2. Sean Bell
Sean Bell was killed on the morning of his wedding day at a strip club in queens. After leaving the nightclub, Bell and his friends were confronted by a plainclothes undercover officer who did not identify himself. When Bell sped off the officer along with his back up, let off 50 rounds into Bell’s vehicle, killing him and severely injuring his friends.
Although nobody in the car was found with a gun, police continued to smear Bell’s character after the incident as if Bell and his friends were under investigation and not the police officers. The officers were charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment and assault but we’re all acquitted. Protests erupted all over New York and Al Sharpton was arrested.
3. Amadou Diallo
Diallo was an immigrant from the republic of Guinea who despite his education worked selling DVD’s and socks on 14th St while studying at night. While returning to to his home after a meal, Diallo caught the eye of 5 NYPD officers who believed he fit the description of a serial rapist. The officers followed him to his apartment door. When Diallo reached into his jacket, a police officer yelled gun and the other officers let off 41 shots, 19 hitting Diallo. No gun was found on Diallo, only a wallet he pulled out to identify himself.
The officers were charged with second-degree murder and reckless endangerment but were acquitted after the trial was moved from the Bronx to more cop-friendly Albany, New York. Diallo’s mother sued the city for $61 million (20 million plus a million for each shot fired) and wound up being awarded $3 million.
4. Randolph Evans
15 year old Randolph Evans was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Night in 1976. Officer, Robert Torsney, was called to a housing project in Brooklyn to investigate a man with a gun. He met with group of young black men and proceeded to shoot the unarmed Evans for no given reason. Although he never was treated for epilepsy, Torsney’s defense maintained that he killed Evans because of a rare case of epilepsy and he was acquitted on the grounds of mental insanity.
5. Alberta Spruil.
Albert Spruil was a 57 year old church-going city worker. Her only crime was living in the wrong neighborhood. Cops believed that there was a large amount of guns, drugs and vicious dogs in her Harlem apartment. Without knocking they battered her door in and threw a flash grenade into her apartment. Although they found now weapons or drugs in her apartment, they put her in handcuffs. Despite the fact that she told them she had a heart problem, it took an hour and half to get her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. The no knock raids have also killed a 92 year old black woman in Atlanta. Although no officers were charged in the incident, Spruil’s family collected $1.6 million for the incident.