Then-New York City Police Officer Charles Schwarz arrives at the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 8, 1997, to be arraigned on charges of assaulting Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

A former officer with the New York City Police Department, who was charged with violating the civil rights of Abner Louima in a brutal police station attack in 1997, has filed a lawsuit against a utility company, charging that he was fired because of his role in the assault, the New York Daily News reports.

Charles Schwarz, 49, says he was wrongly fired in December by the power company Con Edison after word spread about his criminal past, the News writes, citing documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. He reportedly told higher-ups about the conviction when he applied for the job. Schwarz was hired last fall as a mechanic in the gas division after passing written and other exams.


In a case that became a symbol of police racism and police brutality, Schwarz was among five officers charged in connection with the 1997 attack on the Haitian immigrant, who was sodomized with a broomstick handle in the bathroom of Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct station house, the report says.

He was convicted of violating Louima’s rights for his involvement in the attack, the report says. The News notes that the conviction was overturned on appeal, but Schwarz was later convicted of lying about his actions and sentenced to five years in prison.


Now “Schwarz says he’s the one whose rights are being violated,” the News writes. He filed the suit in an effort to win back his job at Con Edison and for back pay, the report notes.  He is also seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages for “anguish and pain and suffering” caused by the company’s  “discriminatory conduct.”

Louima, who settled a lawsuit against the city and the NYPD for $8.75 million, did not respond to a call from the News for comment on Schwarz’s suit.


Read more at the New York Daily News.