A total of four officers have been arrested in the incident, and the station house has been bitterly divided as at least two cops came forward to finger their collegues. What lawyers from the Civil Rights Division of Justice intend to investigate is whether this alleged abuse is a freak incident — or whether it is indicative of a wider racial problem in the NYPD. That's what all New Yorkers would like to know.
It started out with an unspeakably horrible alleged assault on a single Haitan suspect in Brooklyn. Now it's gone Federal. The pain of 30-year-old Abner Louima, who says he was sexually tortured with a toilet plunger by police at New York's 70th Precinct, has been felt across the country. Today the Justice Department announced it would be stepping in.