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#2991: Police Shooting Victim Is Remembered and Mourned in Tears and Song (fwd)


March 25, 2000  By TINA KELLEY _______NY TIMES
Police Shooting Victim Is  Remembered and Mourned in Tears  and Song
More than a thousand mourners filled a funeral home in Brooklyn and the
streets outside last night to pay respects to  Patrick Dorismond, the
26-year-old security guard killed by a  plainclothes police officer last
week.  Dozens carried or wore the Haitian flag, and Mr. Dorismond's  
cousins, who are renowned Haitian musicians, sang for him.  Across
Flatbush Avenue, the protesters carried pickets denouncing  the police.
Mr. Dorismond was the fourth unarmed black man to be  killed by the
police in the last 13 months.  Inside the Andrew Torregrossa Funeral
Home in Marine Park, Mr. Dorismond lay in a coffin lined with white
satin, beneath an arch bearing his name in white and green carnations.
Several women, overcome with grief, let out hoarse, muffled cries     
and had to be escorted out.Johnny Dorismond, the victim's older brother,
said his brother had  gone to a better place, beyond the torment faced
by the officer who killed him. "If he has a guilty conscience, that's
his torture for life," Mr. Dorismond said. Patrick Dorismond was shot on
March 16 after a plainclothes officer approached him outside a bar on
Eighth Avenue in Midtown and asked if he knew where to buy marijuana.
Mr. Dorismond reacted angrily, and in the ensuing scuffle, one of the
officer's backups, Detective Anthony Vasquez, shot him in the chest.    
Detective Vasquez has said, through his lawyer, that the shooting    
was accidental. The wake last night was attended by Haiti's consul
general to the  United States, Therese Guitos, and by Alan G. Hevesi,
the city comptroller.  "The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who are
decent, caring people offer their most profound sympathy and
understanding  for your loss," Mr. Hevesi told the Dorismond family.  
"This is an awful, awful day."  Outside the funeral home, peaceful
protesters, surrounded by  dozens of police officers in powder-blue
windbreakers, chanted and carried signs, mostly in Haitian Creole,
denouncing Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.  Some of the signs compared the
mayor to a "loup garou," a Haitian  demon who preys on the blood of
babies. The death of Mr. Dorismond has inflamed political and racial  
tensions in the city, not just because of the shooting itself, but,
critics say, because of the way the Giuliani administration has handled
its aftermath. Shortly after the shooting, Mayor Giuliani and the police
commissioner, Howard Safir, revealed Mr. Dorismond's police record,
including a sealed court record of an incident when he was 13. They did
not immediately release Detective Vasquez's disciplinary record -- which
included his shooting of a neighbor's  Rottweiler and pulling a gun in a
1997 bar fight.Critics, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Giuliani's
opponent in the race for the United States Senate in New York, accused
city officials of blaming Mr. Dorismond for his own death. But the mayor
said that he was merely pointing out that Mr. Dorismond had acted      
violently in the past and may have acted violently in the moments     
that led to the shooting. Mr. Dorismond, who had two children, was a
security guard for the 34th Street Partnership. He was never convicted
of a crime as an adult. His arrests for punching a man in an argument
over drugs, in 1993, and for pulling a gun during a traffic dispute in
1996, resulted  in disorderly conduct violations, for which he performed
community service. He served no jail time. The case against him in 1987,
when he was 13, was dropped.  His death was a bitter blow to Haitian
Americans, still reeling from the brutalization by the police of Abner
Louima, who was sexually assaulted with a stick in a Brooklyn precinct
station house in 1997 after being arrested in a case of mistaken
identity. The Rev. Al Sharpton arrived later in the evening and entered
the funeral home with his arm around Mr. Louima. Mr Sharpton gave a   
brief prayer and Mr. Louima spoke to the mourners, saying there     
must not be a repeat of these incidents. After Mr. Sharpton left, a   
crowd of demonstartors spilled into Flatbush Avenue. Mr. Dorismond's
death came shortly after the verdict on Feb. 25 in the Amadou Diallo
case, where four plainclothes police officers were cleared of criminal
charges after firing 41 shots at Mr. Diallo, an unarmed Guinean street
peddler, hitting him 19 times. Five days after that verdict, Malcolm
Ferguson, 23, also unarmed, was killed by plainclothes officers in the
Bronx, three blocks from where Mr. Diallo was shot. The other unarmed
man killed by the police recently was Richard Watson, who was shot in
the back last September. All of the shooting victims were black. 
At Mr. Dorismond's wake, Delroy LaRoc, a friend of Mr. Dorismond's since
1989, when they attended Bishop Loughlin High School together,
remembered making music with him."He would be the beat and I would be
the lyrics," he said.  Mr. Dorismond's death left one mourner, Felix
Serieux, 12,of East New York, afraid and perplexed. "It's just sad,"
said Felix, a seventh grader at Bildersee Intermediate School. "It makes
me afraid for my own life, you understand. 'Say no to drugs.' They tell
you that in school, to say no. So what happens now? Do you have to say