Stay of Execution

Activists, Wary of Bush, Say Black Federal Prosecutor Helped Give NYPD a Reprieve

When reminded that Lynch had presided successfully over the prosecution of some of the officers involved in the attack on Louima, Thomas argues that this accomplishment was tainted after Lynch allegedly showed her soft side for one of Louima's torturers. In all, four officers have been convicted in three trials and two have pleaded guilty. Officer Justin Volpe, who claimed he was driven by "animal rage" to sodomize Louima with a broken broomstick, is serving 30 years in prison. Before Officer Charles Schwarz was sentenced in June to 15 years for holding down Louima and then conspiring to cover up the attack, powerful right-wing pols like Staten Island Borough president Guy Molinari loudly proclaimed Schwarz's innocence. In a shocking move, Lynch's office asked Judge Eugene Nickerson to go easy on Schwarz.

Again, Lynch's office declined comment.

According to Thomas, Lynch should have asked for the maximum sentence. "She disregarded the jury's decision, giving credence to the claim that Schwarz was innocent," he charges. "Schwarz spat in their faces by claiming that he was absolutely innocent. They turned around and still joined in a motion for the judge to depart downward at his sentencing. This, to me, shows tremendous weakness on Loretta Lynch's part." Schwarz has filed an appeal, accusing prosecutors of intimidating and coaching witnesses.

Reverend Sharpton recalls that after Patrick Dorismond was gunned down by an undercover cop in March, he and Reverend Herbert Daughtry met with Loretta Lynch, who told them that she was vigorously pursuing plans to monitor the NYPD, despite reports that negotiations with the city had been deadlocked. Lynch, he says, assured them that she was doing everything she could.

But picture the mayor scurrying back to a friendlier U.S. Department of Justice armed with more fuzzy cop statistics, a new plan to crack down on his permanent suspects, African Americans, and the racist declaration by Heather Mac Donald (controversial analyst for the right-wing Manhattan Institute for Policy Research) that "the NYPD is—to its detriment—awash in the spurious 'diversity' ideology." Lynch, Thomas offers, has contributed to this nightmare scenario by giving the NYPD a stay of execution: Under Bush, he predicts, the department will get away with murder. "Justice for Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and other victims is doomed," he swears.

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