The Chief

January 21, 2000

 

Paralyzed Cop Shows Support For Schwarz

Det. Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed by a bullet fired by a juvenile offender in Central Park 15 years ago, rallied to the defense of Charles Schwarz, the ex-cop who was convicted of violating the civil rights of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

Mr. McDonald made a jailhouse visit Jan. 10 to Mr. Schwarz at Metropolitan Correctional Center with the officer's wife, Andra.

'Miscarriage of Justice'

"I am coming to see Chuck Schwarz to show my support for him as a fellow police officer," Mr. McDonald said. "I firmly believe that he is innocent and that his imprisonment is a miscarriage of justice."

Mr. Schwarz was convicted of holding Mr. Louima down while he was being assaulted in the 70th Precinct bathroom in August 1997. He has since been dismissed from the force.

Police Officer Justin Volpe, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the attack, has said Mr. Schwarz was not involved in the stationhouse attack.

Mr. Schwarz and two cops acquitted in the earlier trial, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder, are facing obstruction of justice charges in a new trial in Brooklyn Federal District Court. Prosecutors charge all three lied to cover up Mr. Schwarz's role in the bathroom assault.