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June 1999, Volume 6, Number 6

New York: Police on Trial

The trial of four New York police officers accused of brutalizing Haitian security guard Abner Louima in August 1997 suggested that New York police officers often terrorize immigrants, and that the blue "wall of silence" usually protects officers. A fifth policeman is on trial for helping to cover up the incident. On May 25, one of the police officers changed his plea to guilty and threw himself on the mercy of the court.

Immigrants may join the US Armed Forces, and about one-third of the recruits from New York City are immigrants, the same proportion as those under 18 in New York City who are immigrants. About five percent of those in the US Army are foreign born, up from two percent in 1990; some of the immigrants are naturalized US citizens. The Armed Forces wants high school graduates with no criminal record.

Somini Sengupta, "To More Immigrant New Yorkers, A Better Life Begins in Uniform," New York Times, May 23, 1999. Gabriel Escobar, "Dominicans Face Assimilation in Black and White," Washington Post, May 14, 1999.