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#4719:Grand Jury Doesn't Indict NYC Cop (fwd)


Thursday July 27 4:54 PM ET  Grand Jury Doesn't Indict NYC Cop 
By SAMUEL MAULL, Associated Press Writer 

 NEW YORK (AP) - A grand jury declined to indict an undercover        
narcotics officer Thursday in the March slaying of an unarmed black
man   that aggravated tensions between minorities and New York
police.       The decision cleared Detective Anthony Vasquez of any
criminal wrongdoing for firing a fatal shot into Patrick Dorismond's
chest.     The undercover officer had approached Dorismond, a
26-year-old security guard, near Madison Square Garden and asked where
he could purchase marijuana. The exchange led to a fight.``What the
grand jury found is that on the basis of the evidence, nobody could be
charged with a crime,''Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau
said.Dorismond was killed just three weeks after the acquittal of four
officers in the Bronx slaying of Amadou Diallo, another unarmed black
man. The case took on added significance when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani,
then still running for Senate, set off a furor by publicly releasing
Dorismond's sealed juvenile criminal record. The mayor also publicized a
toxicology report showing Dorismond had marijuana in his system when he
died. Giuliani's decision to go public with the records infuriated the
dead man's family, black activists and the  city's Haitian community.
Dorismond was of Haitian descent. Tensions ran so high that Dorismond's
funeral broke into a free-for-all, with 27 people arrested and 23
officers injured. The Dorismond family also has filed a $100 million
civil claim against the city.  Giuliani said after the grand jury
decision was announced that he wanted to ``extend my sympathy and   my
prayers to the people most affected by this: the Dorismond family, who
will have a very hard time  accepting this.'' According to Vasquez and
his partner, the incident began when Dorismond, who was with a friend,
Kevin Kaiser, threw a punch at the second officer during their
confrontation outside a bar. Vasquez said that as he came to his
partner's aid, he heard one of the two men scuffling with the officer
saying, ``Get his gun!'' Vasquez claimed that he shouted ``Police!
Police!'' before pulling his weapon.
When Dorismond grabbed at the gun, it went off and struck him in the
chest with a single bullet, the officer claimed. Kaiser, 22, insisted
that the officers threw the first punch and Dorismond was only defending
himself. Kaiser also alleged that neither officer identified himself as
police. Morgenthau, questioned about whether the black victim of a
police shooting could receive justice from a grand jury, said the panel
was ``racially mixed ... took its duties seriously and reached a fair