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#2979: NAACP president blasts Giuliani for comments over NYPD shooting (fwd)
NAACP president blasts Giuliani for comments over NYPD shooting
March 23, 2000 Web posted at: 9:59 a.m. EST (1459 GMT)
BALTIMORE (CNN) -- NAACP President Kweisi Mfume on Wednesday sharply
criticized New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's continued defense of a police
officer who shot and killed an unarmed African-American last week.
"Giuliani's unethical, if not illegal behavior in this ... all but puts
a nail in the coffin for any real hopes of building trust between the
mayor, the police department and New York's residents of color,"
Mfume said in a written statement. Rather than trying to "demonize" the
victim, Giuliani "should be reviewing police training standards to see
what steps the department can take to avoid the unnecessary use of
lethal force," Mfume said in the statement. An undercover officer shot
Patrick Dorismond, a 26-year-old security guard of Haitian descent,
during a scuffle that started after plainclothes police officers
approached Dorismond and asked if he would sell them drugs. Dorismond
did not possess any. The shooting, which is under investigation, has
outraged black activists, the victim's family and the city's Haitian
community. It has also led to bitter exchanges between Giuliani and
first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in their race for the U.S. Senate
seat. Giuliani has defended the officer, saying "one version of the
facts" is that Dorismond was "very, very aggressive toward the police."
The mayor also has said Dorismond had a "propensity for violence" and
released details of his police record, including an arrest as a
juvenile. Mfume said, "By displaying such a cavalier and outlandishly
repugnant attitude toward the due process tenets of the American
justice system,Mayor Giuliani might as well have just declared an allut
police-war against black men breathing in public in New York City."