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#3013: Criticism of Giuliani and Police Mounts After Funeral Violence (fwd)


Criticism of Giuliani and Police Mounts After Funeral Violence

A day after violence marred the funeral for the victim of a police
 shooting, criticism of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and the city's Police
Department intensified yesterday as the mayor vigorously defended
himself and the police and denounced the protesters for what he called
an "orchestrated attack."  At news conferences and in pulpits across the
city, the mayor's  political foes seized on the melee as further
evidence of what they described as the mismanagement of a police
department that they contended was losing the faith of New Yorkers,
especially in minority areas, after a string of police-involved
shootings of unarmed men. Mr. Giuliani yesterday ardently dismissed his
critics and praised the police for having handled the funeral crowds in
"a professional and restrained way." But for the first time, the mayor
also voiced sympathy for the family of Patrick M. Dorismond, the
26-year-old black Haitian-American whose funeral on Saturday was marred
by scuffles among mourners and police officers in which 23 officers and
4 civilians were hurt and 27 people were arrested. Detective Anthony
Vasquez, the undercover narcotics officer who fatally shot Mr. Dorismond
during a confrontation outside a Midtown bar in Manhattan on March 16,
sent a letter to the family on Saturday offering his condolences. Asked
by reporters about Detective Vasquez's gesture, Mr. Giuliani said it was
"an appropriate expression." "I commend him for doing it," the mayor
said after marching in the Greek Independence Day parade in Manhattan,
in front of the New York police band. "He did it on the basis of a
father losing a son, or a  mother losing a son, and I think we all feel
that. We all feel very,very bad whenever a situation occurs in which a
parent loses a child." But almost in the same breath, the mayor again
cited reports that Mr.Dorismond had assaulted his girlfriend a week
before the shooting,suggesting that his temperament might have led to
his death. The police have said Mr. Dorismond angrily rebuffed an
undercover officer's request for marijuana and was shot while struggling
with Detective Vasquez. No weapon or drugs were found on Mr.Dorismond.
"There is evidence, again evidence -- not yet decided," Mr. Giuliani  
said, "that he engaged in an assault, that he engaged in the activity   
that caused the shooting and that he had up until a week or a week   and
half ago indicated a strong propensity for doing that, including   
punching his girlfriend in the face" as she held their 3-year-old
child.From City Hall Park to a small Baptist church in the Bronx to the
evangelical church in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where Mr. Dorismond      
worshiped, anger over the the Police Department's actions at the   
funeral and Mr. Giuliani's response to the shooting remained strong