’21 years is not 21 days’: Abner Louima says about officer’s early release request

Abner Louima ponders a question during a taping of “Keepin’ it Real with Al Sharpton” in 2009 in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

New York Daily News

The cop who sodomized Abner Louima with a jagged wooden handle in 1997 wants out of federal prison early because of COVID-19.

Louima is understanding. Even sympathetic.

But in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, he stopped short of supporting ex-NYPD Officer Justin Volpe’s compassionate release request.

“It’s up to the justice system, it’s not up to me,” Louima told The News on Monday. “It’s so many years after the crime. Twenty-one years is not 21 days. I think at least he’s spent enough time thinking about his actions.”

Volpe admitted his guilt again in his application for release, which he filed in late December, more than two decades after he pleaded guilty to the heinous crime. His prison release date is 2025.

“I do not seek to evade just punishment for my crime. I have served the overwhelming majority of the sentence. After 21 plus years in prison, it is my family who is being punished more,” he wrote.

“In 1997, I committed a serious wrong and crime. I take full responsibility and live with the pain it has caused the victim, his family and others. For over two decades I have tried to live in a way to make up for it.”

The crime is still remembered as one of the city’s most harrowing instances of police brutality.

On Aug. 9, 1997, Louima was arrested at East Flatbush, Brooklyn’s popular Club Rendez-Vous after a fight broke out and Volpe mistakenly believed Louima had punched him.

In a police car after Louima’s arrest, Volpe pounded Louima. And later that night, inside Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct stationhouse, Volpe and another officer again beat up Louima.

Then, in a sick assault in a stationhouse bathroom, Volpe sodomized Louima with the wood handle from either a broomstick or plunger, trial testimony and witnesses said. The instrument was never found. Continue reading

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Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
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