Democracy Now! March 13, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 13, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Interview with the first juror to speak out about the ABNER LOUIMA conspiracy case.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 LOUIMA JUROR SPEAKS OUT IN DEMOCRACY NOW! EXCLUSIVE CALLS APPEALS COURT RULING TOTALLY ABSURD REMAINS ANONYMOUS OUT OF FEAR OF UNSAVORY CHARACTERS IN OFFICER SCHWARZ SUPPORT COMMITTEE For the first time since a federal appeals court overturned the convictions of 3 police officers in the Abner Louima conspiracy case, a juror is speaking out. Under cloak of anonymity for fear of what he calls unsavory characters in Charles Schwarzs support group, the juror calls the overturning of the obstruction of justice charge totally absurd. These were policemen, they knew the legal process, he said. They know where a federal investigation leads toit leads to a grand jury and then perhaps a trial. When they were planning to mislead the Brooklyn investigators and the federal investigators, they werent figuring oh well mislead these guys but hey if it goes to a grand jury, well stop there, well respect the federal grand jury. Nothey were planning to mislead everybody: at the state level, at the federal level, at every level. The juror made these comments in an exclusive interview with Pacifica radios national morning news program Democracy Now!. In the interview, the juror says he originally believed Schwarz was innocent of the conspiracy to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation. But, as the jury deliberated, he ultimately became convinced of Schwarzs guilt. He says the jury initially took a straw vote, in which a majority of the jurors voted to acquit the officers. Now, the juror says he is dismayed by the reversal of the jurys verdict: JUROR: I dont remember how I voted [in the straw vote] but at the beginning I was actually in favor of acquitting Schwarz based on the evidence. GOODMAN: Acquitting him of? JUROR: Of conspiracy, of being in the conspiracy. GOODMAN: What changed for you? JUROR: Well you see Schwarz did not commit an overt act, which you dont need, but if you are one of the people who commits an overt act in a conspiracy, thats pretty damning evidence, so poor Bruder was stuck with his overt acts of outright story changing and lying. And if you tell a story consistently from the beginning that could be what you believe, things may have been confusing and people perceive what they perceive. But when you tell one story and then change it, thats a clear overt act of lying so Bruder was up the creek with that and Wiese it was clear was a party to that because Bruder wouldnt have said that without Wieses approval. Bringing Schwarz into the conspiracy was more tenuous and it really revolved around the contactand this is the most important phone callinitial contact when the IAB started investigating the case. Schwarz was on patrol with Wiesethey were partners--and they called Abbate, but it was clear Schwarz called Abbate because Schwarz was Abbates friend. So Schwarz inititated the process by which Wiese and Bruder developed their plan to lie and Schwarz, by making that phone call to Abbate, made it clear that he would approve an effort to hide his role in the assault on Louima and according to the lawat least according to the judges instructionsthats enough for a conspiracy. The juror refused to be identified, for fear of reprisal from supporters of Charles Schwarz. He said: Theres been a mini-movement built around free Schwarz. Ive looked at their website and I know about some of the people involved. Some of them are well-meaning, law-abiding people who were just fooled. And others are unsavory characters and I dont want to deal with them. In particular, the juror says he is concerned about fired New York City police officer Anthony Abbate, a close friend of Schwarz. Abbate was fired from the department in 1996 for verbally abusing a female officer during an argument and then lying about it under oath. When she testified at the Louima trial, Abbate was accused of intimidating her again. GUEST: ANONYMOUS JUROR IN THE LOUIMA CONSPIRACY CASE 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK CONTD 9:21-9:40 LOUIMA JUROR SPEAKS OUT IN DEMOCRACY NOW! EXCLUSIVE CONTD 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 LOUIMA JUROR SPEAKS OUT IN DEMOCRACY NOW! EXCLUSIVE CONTD 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS MUSIC: 6 RAP, RACE, REALITY & TECHNOLOGY (DROP THE BOMB) BY FINE ARTS MILITIA FEATURING CHUCK D. AS MR. CHUCK (UNRELEASED PROJECT) 20 AN APOLOGY? BY JOLIVETTE ANDERSON FROM AT THE END OF A ROPE IN MISSISSIPPI E-MAIL: THEPOETWARRIOR@HOTMAIL.COM 40 ANGRY (GIMA) BY BOBBY MCFERRIN FROM MEDICINE MUSIC END N.Y.P.D. BLUES BY BROKE TOE RIZO FROM I SHOULDA GONE TO THE HOSPITAL WWW.BROKETOEREZO.COM

Date Recorded on: 
March 13, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
March 13, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. March 13, 2002
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