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Report: Settlement in Torture Suit

March 22, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ A tentative settlement has been reached in a civil suit brought by a Haitian immigrant tortured in a police station in 1997, the Daily New reported Thursday.

Under the terms of the proposal, Abner Louima would receive $9 million from the city and the Police Benevolent Association. In return, he would drop his demand for reform in the way the New York Police Department deals with officers accused of crimes.

The proposed settlement was distributed to the parties on Tuesday. Both sides are scheduled to meet on March 28 to sign the deal, barring any disagreement, the News reported.

If finalized, the settlement would close the ugliest chapter in the department’s history. Louima’s beating sparked protests and led to convictions of six officers.

When Louima filed the suit in federal court in 1998, he claimed that officers and the police union conspired to create a ``blue wall of silence and lies to obstruct justice.″

Louima testified that after his arrest in a street brawl outside a Brooklyn nightclub in 1997, he was sodomized with a broken broomstick and threatening if he reported it.

Officer Justin Volpe, who pleaded guilty, is serving 30 years. A jury found a second patrolman, Charles Schwarz, guilty of pinning Louima down during the assault; four other officers were convicted of lying to investigators.

Spokesmen for the police department, its union and Louima refused comment to the News, citing a gag order.

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On the Net:

NYPD: http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/nypd

Citizens Crime Commission: http://www.nyscp.org

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