1996-2001

Abner Louima(1997) is a Haitian immigrant who was brutally attacked and tortured by a white New York police officer on Aug. 9, 1997. NYPD officer, Justin Volpe, took Louima into the restroom of the 70th Precinct station house in Brooklyn and sodomized the young man with a broken broomstick and then put it in his face. In court, Volpe said that he thought Louima punched him in the head during a scuffle outside of a nightclub, but also admitted that he wanted to humiliate Louima regardless. Volpe left the police force and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Charles Schwarz was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for assisting Volpe in the assault. This incident brought greater awareness to the ongoing pattern of white New York police officers abusing black men and overstepping their authority.

Amadou Diallo (1999)

In one of the most excessive cases of police brutality and protection of officers, a West African immigrant was shot at 41 times after four NYPD officers in plainclothes approached him on the way into his NYC home. Police say the 23-year-old had a gun, but it was later found to be a wallet. All officers were acquitted of second-degree murder charges in the 1999 incident.

Patrick Dorismond(2000)

In 2000, Dorismond, the 26-year-old father of two young girls, was shot during a confrontation with an undercover police officer in New York City. The police officer approached Dorismond outside of a lounge to ask where he could purchase drugs. During a scuffle, which was said to start after Dorismond declared he was not a drug dealer, the officer shot him. Later, he would claim it was Dorismond who caused his own death by grabbing the officer’s gun. The question still remains why the gun was pulled out in the first place. In July 2000, a grand jury decided not to indict the officer in Dorismond’s death.