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#2948: Accounts Diverge on What Led to Killing Outside Bar (fwd)


March 22, 2000 NY TIMES
 Accounts Diverge on What Led to  Killing Outside Bar

Five days after an unarmed man was shot and killed by a narcotics
detective outside a bar on Eighth Avenue,investigators are focusing on
two widely divergent versions of the events that led up to the shooting
of the man, Patrick M. Dorismond.After interviews with nearly two dozen
civilian and police witnesses, focusing intensively on a handful of
significant accounts, investigators have still found no agreement on who
started the scuffle that preceded the shooting Thursday morning. Two
police detectives say it was Mr. Dorismond. His friend and co-worker    
Kevin Kaiser, who was at his side that night, says one of the        
detectives who approached Mr. Dorismond to try to buy drugs threw       
the first punch. Although there were a number of other people on the
sidewalk outside the Wakamba Cocktail Lounge at 543 Eighth Avenue, most
told the police that they had not seen much of the incident, including
how the gunshot came to be fired, according to investigators. As a     
result, they are largely concentrating on the accounts of Mr. Kaiser   
and a second civilian, who acknowledged that he had not seen how the
altercation began, and the two detectives, investigators said. Since
shortly after the shooting, Mr. Kaiser has said the police
were           the aggressors in the quick, chaotic confrontation. But
at a news conference yesterday held to announce his plans to sue the
city, Mr. Kaiser seemed to change his account somewhat,saying it was
Anthony Vasquez, the detective who fired the fatal shot, who threw the
first punch. He had earlier told investigators and a reporter for The
New York Times that the undercover detective who first asked Mr.
Dorismond for drugs, Anderson Moran, threw  the first punch.But Mr.
Kaiser's lawyer, who said he had filed notice of his intent to sue,
insisted that Mr. Kaiser had never changed his account and said
newspaper articles did not accurately reflect his client's version of
events. The lawyer, Sanford A. Rubenstein, who has also sued the city
on  behalf of Abner Louima, the man tortured in the bathroom of a
Brooklyn police station, said Mr. Kaiser's legal action will accuse the
city of violating Mr. Kaiser's civil rights, of false arrest and of
inflicting emotional distress.     Mr. Rubenstein said the detectives
used excessive force in arresting    Mr. Kaiser, who was held for more
than 12 hours but never charged       with a crime.  Mr. Kaiser
yesterday described his confrontation with Detective Vasquez, Detective
Moran and Detective Julio Cruz, who along  with their narcotics team
from the Manhattan gang investigation       division had already made
eight marijuana arrests in the area around   the Port Authority bus
terminal that night. "I have come to set the record straight for my
friend," Mr. Kaiser said, his voice quavering as he read from a
statement. "My friend Patrick's voice was silenced by a bullet from a
policeman's gun."  Mr. Kaiser said he had been standing next to his
friend when three men who looked like "derelicts" approached and asked
for marijuana. After Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Dorismond told them to go away,
one of the men, whom Mr. Kaiser identified as Detective         Moran,
began taunting them with short, snorting animal noises. Law  
enforcement officials, however, said Detective Cruz had acknowledged
that he had made the sounds, in what he said was a joke to defuse the
situation. Then, Mr. Kaiser said, Detective Vasquez punched Mr.
Dorismond. "The blow struck his upper body," he said. "Patrick did
nothing to cause the police officer to strike him. At or about the same
time I heard the gun go off, I was rushed by a number of police officers
who punched my head, my face, manhandled me, threw me on the        
ground." Mr. Kaiser said one of the officers had told another to cuff
Mr. Dorismond, and had referred to him using an expletive. He said it
 "goes to show how insensitive these police officers were at the        
time." In many respects, other than the question of who threw the first 
punch and whether the detectives identified themselves as the     
police, the accounts provided by the two detectives and Mr. Kaiser      
are similar, several investigators said. Both Detective Moran, who     
was trying to make the drug buy, and Detective Cruz, who like Detective
Vasquez was a "ghost" whose responsibility was to shadow and protect the
undercover detective, have given their accounts to the Internal Affairs
Bureau and the office of District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau of
Manhattan, the investigators said.  Like Detectives Cruz and Moran, Mr.
Kaiser told investigators and prosecutors that he had not seen the
shooting. The two detectives told investigators that they had seen
Detective Vasquez begin to  draw his weapon as the confrontation heated
up, and that although  they had seen the muzzle of the compact Kahr K-9
9mm pistol clear his waistband, they had not seen him fire the shot,
according to a  person who has heard the account. They both said they
had seen Mr. Dorismond lunge at the gun. Detectives Moran and Cruz told
investigators that the scuffle erupted so fast that they had not had an
opportunity to withdraw, as they are trained to do, officials said.  
Yet investigators said Detective Moran's signal for trouble over a    
body transmitter came before the first blow. The detectives also said
Mr. Kaiser appeared to be trying to restrain Mr. Dorismond. An
investigator who heard his account said Mr.  Kaiser's eyes were glued to
Detective Moran as the confrontation unfolded because he had wanted to
help his friend if the detective  had attacked.  In fact, more than 12
hours after the attack, the investigator said, Mr.Kaiser still thought
the three men who confronted them were muggers and that the shot that
struck Mr. Dorismond was fired by  one of several other officers who had
pulled up in a sport utility  vehicle after the scuffle erupted.    
Clad in police raid jackets and with guns drawn, they were part of a   
backup unit.  As questions about the incident continued to surface,
First DeputyPolice Commissioner Patrick E. Kelleher went to City Hall  
yesterday to clarify several issues for news organizations because     
Police Commissioner Howard Safir was away on a family vacation this
week. A spokeswoman for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said Mr. Safir was
in constant contact and monitoring the situation. "Howard works 24-7nd
deserves to take time with his family," said the spokeswoman,   Sunny