1 minute read

Justin A. Volpe et al. Trials: 1999 & 2000

"… On Tomorrow's Front Page.…"

McAlary found the Louima family and their lawyer, Brian Figeroux, at the hospital. Using his reporter's savvy to get to Louima's bedside despite a posted police guard, McAlary took notes for an hour as he interviewed the prisoner, who was handcuffed to his bed. He learned that Louima, a bank security guard, had been arrested early Saturday morning after a fight broke out between two women at a Brooklyn nightclub. He also learned that when Louima was brought in a hospital nurse had called the New York Police Department (NYPD) Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB)—the unit in charge of police discipline—to report the serious injuries, but Internal Affairs had not followed up. Later evidence revealed that the first complaint logged officially by the IAB wasn't until 36 hours after the nurse's call. Nor was the complaint submitted to the district attorney's office, as the law required.

McAlary told the Louima's lawyer to call the Brooklyn district attorney. "Tell him," he said, "I'm going to put this on tomorrow's front page."

Within five hours, NYPD Internal Affairs officers and assistant district attorneys were at the hospital. The next day, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir both went to Louima's bedside and denounced the attack during press conferences as television news crews besieged the hospital. Doctors detailed Louima's injuries: a wooden stick shoved into his rectum had ripped into his bladder and punctured his colon and had then been jammed into his mouth, breaking his front teeth. The police, after holding him for three hours, had called an ambulance and sent him to the hospital only after other inmates complained of his bleeding. Emergency surgery had repaired both the bladder and his lower intestine.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentJustin A. Volpe et al. Trials: 1999 2000 - "… On Tomorrow's Front Page.…", Cops Reassigned, Suspended, Arrested, A Breach In The "blue Wall"