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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vandals slashed 114 tires early Saturday outside the same Brooklyn police station where a Haitian immigrant said he was beaten and sodomized with a toilet plunger last year.
Police said they did not know the motive for vandalism, which took place between 3:40 and 4:05 a.m. EST.
``There is no indication that the assault on the tires is linked to the Louima incident. We are treating it as two separate incidents,'' said Carmen Melendez, a police spokeswoman.
On Feb. 26 five New York police officers from the 70th Precinct were accused in a federal indictment of violating Haitian immigrant Abner Louima's civil rights. Four of the officers were charged with the alleged Aug. 9, 1997, assault and a fifth was accused of helping the others to cover up the alleged crimes. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In announcing the tire attack, police initially said there had been no reports of problems between police and local residents in the Kensington area in the New York City borough of Brooklyn where the incident occurred.
In all, the tires of 44 vehicles were slashed. ``Nine were personal cars registered to policemen on duty, 16 others were department vehicles and 19 belonged to neighborhood residents,'' Melendez said.
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