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#2980: Hillary Clinton criticizes Giuliani over New York police shooting (fwd)


Hillary Clinton criticizes Giuliani over New  York police shooting
By LARRY NEUMEISTER   Associated Press Writer
 March 21, 2000  Web posted at: 10:19 a.m. EST (1519 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- In one of her strongest attacks yet, Hillary Rodham
Clinton criticized Mayor Rudolph Giuliani over his handling of a fatal
police  shooting, saying he had "hunkered down, taken sides and further
divided this city." Clinton said she was still waiting for a "full and
fair investigation" of the killing Thursday of 26-year-old Patrick
Dorismond during an attempted drug sting  outside a midtown Manhattan
bar. Dorismond, who was black, was unarmed.  At the mayor's direction,
police released the dead man's police record, showing a juvenile charge
that was later dropped and two guilty pleas in the  mid 1990s to
disorderly conduct.  "Unfortunately, the mayor has not (waited) and that
is just wrong," the first lady said Monday, drawing applause from about
1,000 people at the Bethel AME Church in Harlem. "He has led the rush to
judgment. That is not real  leadership." Giuliani campaign manager Bruce
Teitelbaum called her comments a cheap shot.  "Once again, Mrs. Clinton
is shamelessly doing her best to exploit this for  political purposes,"
he said.Clinton's remarks were among her strongest direct attacks on
Giuliani, her opponent in an already bitter for race for a U.S. Senate
in New York. Until recently, she rarely even mentioned him by name.    
The Dorismond shooting came just weeks after four police officers were 
acquitted of all charges in the killing of Amadou Diallo in February
1999.The officers, mistakenly thinking Diallo was armed, fired 41 shots,
striking him 19 times. Community leaders and politicians have stepped up
demands for federal oversight of the police department in the wake of
Dorismond's shooting by a  Hispanic officer. Police and the officer's
attorney have said Dorismond, an  off-duty security guard, became angry
and tried to grab the undercover officer's gun after the officer asked
him if he knew where to buy marijuana.  On Monday, the Rev. Al Sharpton
met for more than an hour with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, head of an
investigation into whether the police  department fosters abuse of
minorities through lax discipline of officers who use excessive force.
Sharpton said he had urged Lynch to impose a federal monitor in
brutality cases. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., took a similar position in
Washington. Clinton said it was wrong of the mayor to attack Dorismond's
character by releasing his juvenile record, just as it would be wrong to
try to taint the reputations of the police officers involved by dredging
up stains in their past before the facts were in.Giuliani said her
comments were an attempt to score political points off a tragedy, "just
like she did when she rushed to judgment and called the police officers
involved in the Diallo case murderers."