News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. June 14, 2023: A former NYPD officer, Justin Volpe, who sodomized a Haitian immigrant with a broken broomstick during a violent assault in a police precinct in the 1990s, has been released from prison ahead of schedule after spending nearly 25 years behind bars.
Volpe, now 51 years old, was released from a federal prison in Minnesota, almost 26 years after his involvement in the horrific sexual assault on Abner Louima in Brooklyn, alongside other NYPD officers. He is currently under confinement in a personal residence until his full release in January 2024, as reported by NY1. The circumstances surrounding his early release, which occurred quietly in April, remain unclear.
Initially, Volpe’s request for early release due to the pandemic was denied, as a federal judge deemed the concerns related to the coronavirus unwarranted.
The brutal assault of Louima orchestrated by law enforcement on August 9, 1997, stands as one of the most heinous cases of police brutality in American history. Louima, an electrical engineer from Haiti, worked as a security guard in Brooklyn, where he lived with his wife and child. Following an altercation between two women at Club Rendez-Vous, Louima and other partygoers became involved in the conflict.
When Volpe and fellow officer Charles Schwarz arrived at the scene, Volpe incorrectly assumed that Louima had punched him. Officers proceeded to beat Louima with nightsticks, two-way radios, and their fists while transporting him to the 70th Precinct holding cell.
Subsequently, Louima, a Caribbean immigrant, was taken to a precinct bathroom, where the abuse continued. Volpe kicked him and inflicted severe injuries, including a sexual assault using a broken broomstick, while boasting to a fellow officer about his actions. There were additional reports that Volpe used a plunger on Louima.
Louima’s family and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau were alerted to the incident when he was transferred to an emergency room at a hospital in Coney Island. Louima underwent three surgeries for his colon and bladder and remained hospitalized for two months.
The case sparked widespread outrage, leading to large-scale protests against the NYPD’s treatment of Louima at New York City Hall and the 70th Precinct station house. Known as the “Day of Outrage Against Police Brutality and Harassment,” the demonstrations drew significant attention and condemnation.
Volpe, Schwarz, and three other officers faced multiple criminal charges, including civil rights violations, obstruction of justice, and false statements. While Volpe initially pleaded not guilty, he changed his plea during the trial and was ultimately found guilty on December 13, 1999. He received a 30-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole and hefty fines.
Schwarz, who assisted Volpe in the bathroom during the more severe assault, was sentenced to 15 years in 2000. The other three officers were indicted and convicted but avoided prison due to insufficient evidence.
Abner Louima filed a lawsuit against the city, resulting in an $8.75 million settlement, which at the time stood as the largest police brutality settlement in New York City’s history. Louima later relocated to Florida and used a portion of the settlement funds to assist people in Haiti.
In an unexpected turn of events, Louima campaigned alongside former NYPD officer Eric Adams during his mayoral candidacy in 2021, offering his endorsement. Adams, also the former head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, had previously spoken out against a federal appeals court ruling that overturned the convictions of the three other officers involved in Louima’s torture.
Volpe, for his part, inexplicably told the New York Post this week that he has “nothing but love” for Louima.
“I have nothing but love in my heart for New York City and everybody in my case involved, especially Mr. Louima,” Volpe said from his family’s home in Staten Island.
He added: “I wish us all peace. I just want to rebuild my life at the pace that I’m able to. God bless everyone.”