Brooklyn, NY – State Senator Kevin Parker today sharply criticized a deal that could grant early release to one of the disgraced former police officers involved in the Abner Louima torture case.
"The kidnapping and beating of Abner Louima is one of the most horrifying examples of police brutality this city has ever seen," said Parker, Senator of the 21st Senate District in Brooklyn. "We as a people and as a nation cringed in disgust in 1997 when the actions that transpired on that fateful night in the bathroom of the 70th Precinct, were made public for the world to bear witness. To make a deal with one of the defendants in this case sends the message that the dignity and civil rights of some of our residents can be bargained away."
Parker was reacting to news that prosecutors in the Louima case have asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to reconsider the five-year prison sentence for perjury she handed down in 2002 to former police officer Charles Schwarz.
Under an agreement between defense attorneys and prosecutors, the government dismissed the three other counts and Mr. Schwarz agreed not to appeal the perjury conviction. Mr. Schwarz also agreed not to ask the judge to reduce the five-year sentence, and the prosecutors said that if certain conditions were met, they would ask the Bureau of Prisons to seek the sentence reduction.
However, according to the US Bureau of Prisons, such reductions are only sought in cases of serious or terminal illnesses.
"Mr. Schwarz not only violated the civil rights of Abner Louima," Parker said. "He also violated our justice system as well as the public trust. He should not benefit from a special deal."
In a proactive stance against this proposed deal, Senator Parker also fired out a letter to Brooklyn Federal Judge Reena Raggi of the US Court of Appeals calling on her to reject this motion for a reduced sentence made by Mr. Schwarz's defense attorney. "No leniency should ever be shown to anyone inflicting physical torture on another human being under the guise of the law," he said. " That fateful night we all became victims. The police department was scandalized and shamed. Human progress regressed at the hands of a few. Anything less than denying this motion would insult and injure the greater community at large."