Parker Applauds Judge For Denying Leniency In Louima Torture Case

Kevin S. Parker

March 31, 2006

            State Senator Kevin S. Parker (D-Brooklyn) today commended Judge Reena Raggi for her decision to deny leniency to former police officer Charles Schwarz, accused of participating in a brutal attack on suspect Abner Louima and convicted of perjury.

            A federal jury could not reach a verdict as to whether Schwarz took part in the assault by restraining Louima as he was brutalized and tortured by officer Justin Volpe. However, Schwarz was convicted of perjury, committed in an attempt to cover up the attack. Volpe is serving a 30-year sentence, and Schwarz recently requested a reduction of his 5-year sentence, which was denied by Judge Reena Raggi.

            "Judge Raggi’s decision sends a clear message—we still have a policy of zero tolerance for police brutality," said Senator Parker. "Charles Schwarz violated the law, the civil rights of Abner Louima, and the public trust placed in the esteemed men and women who serve and protect our city. Judge Raggi absolutely made the right decision in reaffirming the justice system’s response to this very serious and cruel attack."

            Senator Parker had sent a letter to the Judge recommending denial of the leniency request, and urged her to maintain her "tough stance" on the case.