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#2899: Mourning, Outcry Over Shooting ... (fwd)


Mourning, Outcry Over Shooting Sharpton: Federal gov't should probe
unarmed man's death

 By Ron Howell And Sean Gardiner. STAFF WRITERS (NEWSDAY)

 Associates of Dream Team lawyer Johnnie Cochran said Friday they     
would represent the family of Patrick Dorismond, the unarmed security
guard killed this week by an undercover police officer. And the Rev. Al
Sharpton vowed to do all he could to end such killings of young black
men by police officers. Sharpton and others also called on the federal
government to handle  the investigation into the shooting.             
Dorismond, of East Flatbush, was fatally shot in Manhattan early
Thursday after he apparently rebuffed an undercover police officer
who asked where he could purchase illegal drugs.                   
Witnesses said Dorismond, who according to friends wanted to be a    
police officer, was insulted at being mistaken for a drug dealer.     
The detective who shot Dorismond in the chest, Anthony Vasquez,       
29, of Shirley, was placed on modified duty, his badge and gun taken   
away. Vasquez has had other problems in the past, including the    
pulling of a gun during a fight in Philadelphia and the shooting of a 
Rottweiler that he said attacked a member of his family. He was        
cleared of wrongdoing. Hours after the killing of Dorismond, Police
Commissioner Howard Safir went to the unusual length of telling
reporters that Dorismond  was arrested as a juvenile, a record that is
supposed to be sealed. 
A high-ranking police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity,
said the Dorismond shooting was more questionable than the recent police
killing of Malcolm Ferguson, who was also   unarmed, in the Soundview
section of the Bronx. "He [Vasquez] is certainly under a cloud," the
police official said Friday. At an emotional news conference in Brooklyn
with Dorismond's relatives Friday, Sharpton denounced the disclosure of
Dorismond's police record, which include guilty pleas to disorderly
conduct in 1993 and 1996. Sharpton called the police encounter with
Dorismond on Thursday a case of "entrapment gone bad." "Enough is
enough,"Sharpton said outside the Flatbush apartment building of
Dorismond's mother, Marie Dorismond. 
 "We will not stand by and let this family be castigated ... We are   
calling on the federal government to come in this case to bring       
justice." Sharpton and at least one attorney from Cochran's firm will  
meet with Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, on
Monday, according to Sharpton and Derek Sells, a lawyer with the      
Cochran firm. Referring to the possibility of a wrongful-death suit
against the city and the three undercover police officers involved in
the incident, Sells said, "I don't think you can get any more wrongful
than that [what happened to Dorismond]." William J. Muller, executive
  assistant to Lynch, refused to confirm or deny that a meeting was 
scheduled with Sharpton and Cochran lawyers. Officials at the office of
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said information from the
killing of Dorismond will be presented to a grand jury, a standard
procedure in shootings involving  police officers in Manhattan.       
At the entrance to the Parkside Avenue building where the shooting     
victim's mother, Marie Dorismond lives, flowers, candles and notes     
of mourning sat in the vestibule Friday. 
Throughout the day friends cried in the hallways and spoke angrily to
reporters about encounters they or their male friends have had with    
the police. "It's a war," said Marie Dorismond, Patrick's 28-year-old
sister who said she works with the mentally disabled.  "The black young
brothers out here are not safe. It's disgusting."  Giving their account
of the Thursday incident, police said Patrick Dorismond, who worked as a
security guard, and two other men were coming out of the Wakamba
Cocktail Lounge at 543 Eighth  Ave. in midtown Manhattan early Thursday.
Det. Anderson Moran, part of a team of three plainclothes officers in a
buy-and-bust  operation, approached the men and asked to buy
marijuana.Dorismond became upset, and the ensuing argument led to a
fight. As Moran was fighting he gave out a code distress signal,
prompting his "ghosts," or backups, Vasquez and Julio Cruz, to come to
his  assistance.  A witness told police he saw Vasquez strike Dorismond
with his gun, which went off, a bullet striking Dorismond in the chest.