Case: DOJ Investigation of New York City Police Department (Eastern District)

No Court

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 21, 1997, following the highly publicized beating and sexual assault by a police officer of Abner Louima, a Haitian American man, the Department of Justice launched an excessive force investigation of the NYPD. 

According to reporting, the NYPD and the DOJ engaged in settlement conversations and the city attorney appealed directly to then Attorney General Janet Reno to avoid a lawsuit. No public settlement is available. The DOJ did not file a complaint against the NYPD, and the case was closed on December 23, 2004.

Abner Louima won an $8.75 million settlement against the city for police brutality and the officers responsible for his attack were convicted of criminal charges in federal court.

Summary Authors

Robin Peterson (5/24/2023)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

No documents yet available via the Clearinghouse.



Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 2:36 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):


Key Dates

Closing Date: Dec. 23, 2004

Case Ongoing: No


Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought


New York City (New York, New York), City

Defendant Type(s):


Case Details

Causes of Action:

Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Available Documents:

None of the above


Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:


Source of Relief:




Excessive force

Pattern or Practice