New York City police officer Justin Volpe, centre, is joined by attorneys Ed Schulman, left, and Marvin Kornberg, right, after a day in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, May 6, 1999 Picture: Lynsey Addario/AP
New York City police officer Justin Volpe, centre, is joined by attorneys Ed Schulman, left, and Marvin Kornberg, right, after a day in Brooklyn federal court Thursday, May 6, 1999 Picture: Lynsey Addario/AP

Cop who sodomised Abner Louima asks for early release after contracting Covid in prison

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jan 5, 2021

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DURBAN - EX-NYPD policeman, Justin Volpe, is hoping for an early release after he contracted Covid-19 in prison, in November. He is accused of beating and sodomising Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, in 1997, in a case that has been described as “New York’s most harrowing instances of police brutality”.

In an exclusive interview with the New York Daily News, Louima, says while he forgives his attacker, he has not forgotten the ordeal.

Louima said he thought Volpe had spent enough time thinking about his actions.

In 1997, Volpe, sodomised Louima with a jagged wooden handle. He claimed that Louima had punched him during a tussle at a popular club.

Abner Louima was beaten by New York City Police officers in 1997 Picture: Emile Wamsteker / AP

According to the New York Daily News, following Louima's arrest, Volpe assaulted him. Volpe assaulted him again at the police station and proceeded to sodomise Louima with a wooden handle from either a broom stick or plunger, trial testimony and witnesses said. The instrument was never found.

Louima suffered a ruptured colon and bladder, and his teeth were bashed in the beating. His physical recovery took months.

News of the attack made headlines and led to mass protests in the US.

Volpe, who spent 21 years in prison, has since asked for early release after contracting Covid in November last year.

According to the report, he claimed that he was not offered medical treatment.

Louima said the decision to release his attacker was up to the justice system.

"You cannot fully go away from that. That's something you'll always have to deal with. But I thank God to be alive. I follow the word of God, so I have to forgive — but I don’t forget. A lot of people mix forgiving and forgetting. I forgive but I do not forget," he said.

IOL

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