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CNN Today

Jury Finds 3 Officers Guilty of Conspiring to Obstruct Justice in Abner Louima Case

Aired March 6, 2000 - 2:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We begin this hour with a verdict in the conspiracy trial of three current and former New York City policemen who were accused of covering up the role of one of the officers in the savage beating two years ago of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick joins us by phone with the latest -- Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Natalie, after 24 hours of deliberation, a mixed jury found the three New York City police officers guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Now, for Charles Schwarz, the verdict could significantly hurt his appeal of the first verdict. In June, Schwarz was found guilty of taking part in the assault of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima inside the bathroom of the 70th Precinct station house. Schwarz has maintained he was never in the bathroom when disgraced cop Justin Volpe sodomized Louima with a broomstick.

But in this trial, prosecutors argued the three officers lied to cover up Schwarz's role. Perhaps the most damaging evidence, 60 phone calls made between the officers immediately after the attack.

Now, after the verdict was read and the courtroom was cleared, there was chaos in the hallway. Charles Schwarz, who was already in custody, was taken out and he could be heard yelling behind a closed door. One of the officer's mothers collapsed. A third officer threw what appeared to be his cell phone against a wall saying, in his words, "they won't break me." All three men plan to fight the verdict.

Reporting live, Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

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