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#2904: The Long, Deadly Nights of the Condor (fwd)


Sunday, March 19, 2000
The Long, Deadly Nights of the Condor 
From: News and Views | Crime File |

Patrick Dorismond just said no to an undercover drug cop, then wound up
 dead and smeared.So his death is a three-part story: rejected
drug deal, shooting and sliming.Apart from the shooting, everything was
a piece in a deliberate plan.Of course, no one knew specifically that
Patrick Dorismond would be coming out of a bar on Eighth Ave. on
Thursday morning. He happened to walk into the drug cops looking for   
another collar. Operation Condor is a desperate initiative launched Jan.
17 by  Howard Safir, the first police commissioner in a decade to       
have murders increase during his watch. His last big expansion plan 
the Street Crime Unit  collapsed last year,when undertrained street
crime cops shot up Amadou Diallo  for frightening them with his wallet.
Today, the narcotics division has taken up much of that work, say two
officers involved with it. "The narcotics division is the new
seek-and-destroy unit with the NYPD," said one of the cops.  "Each team
must have at least five arrests per tour of duty. When teams are short
five arrests, the commanders are telling the sergeants that they owe
them bodies."The cops who approached the late Dorismond already had    
made eight arrests that night. They decided, apparently, to go         
for a round number of 10 when they saw Dorismond and a friend leaving a
bar. Asked by the undercover for some weed, Dorismond told him to get
lost. In the scuffle that followed, Dorismond died. The round number of
10 collars would have to wait for another  night. "There is no quota of
arrests," a spokesman for Safir insisted yesterday. "The goal is to make
arrests, but not a specific number."  There may be no quota, but just
last week, Safir was boasting  at a City Council hearing about the
18,000 arrests Condor had made since it started Jan.17.That happens to
work out to five collars a day for each team. "The goal is not arrests
but the elimination of narcotic activities on the streets of New York,"
said the spokesman for Safir. "I ask every boss and politician I meet to
get me out of there before I ended up killing someone, getting killed or
arrested," another narcotics cop said a few hours after the death of   
Dorismond.No sooner had Dorismond's body hit the ground than the     
mayor was releasing his sealed private records of petty incidents that
did not even amount to crimes. Giuliani said he was trying to explain
the incident to his son on Thursday, then blamed the press for not
saying enough bad things about the dead man. "I don't understand why you
consistently take the viewpoint against the police," Giuliani said at
the St. Patrick's Day  Parade. "At least take a neutral viewpoint and
give us a  chance to explain it." Explain this: Dorismond got involved
with the juvenile courts  when he was a 13-year-old boy, but it was
settled before it got to a judge. As the father of a boy about 13
himself, how exactly does the  mayor see childish stupidity in 1987 as
justifying the use of  deadly force on a streetcorner in the year 2000?
A few years back, as an adult, Dorismond got into an argument over a
traffic accident; he also punched a friend in a fight over being
shortchanged for some pot. Both cases were dismissed. This history may
tell us he was a hothead. It does  not, as the mayor claims, amount to a
"criminal" record.Not dead even 24 hours, and the mayor is throwing out
his rap sheet," said Jimmy Schillaci. "Why do I need to know what this
guy did 10 years ago, when this guy got killed the night before. Rudy
painted him out to be a louse, stressing what he was charged with, not
what he ended up with  disorderly conduct."Schillaci is something of an
expert on the mayor's mud jobs. A few years ago, he discovered that cops
in the Bronx had set up a red light trap near the Bronx Zoo. When
Schillaci's videotape and pictures ran on the front page of the Daily
News, he was arrested the next morning for a 13-year-old traffic ticket.
Then the mayor held up Schillaci's rap sheet  which included drug
violations from years earlier  and characterized Schillaci as a
convicted sodomist. In fact, he had been cleared of that charge.    
"When the evidence points to wrongdoing by the police, Rudy will put up
the barricades and smear you," said Schillaci. After Amadou Diallo was
shot in his own vestibule, his apartment was searched  without a
warrant  and police went  through computer records to see if he or
anyone in his building ever had been arrested. They came up with
nothing. The Diallo shooting was an accident, so it was said. Now, in
 defense of the cop who shot Dorismond, a police lawyer is saying this
shooting was an accident, too. If it was, it's the only part of this
miserable affair that wasn't planned, from the Operation Condor gimmick,
right down to the last harsh word spoken by the mayor over the body of
an innocent dead man.