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#3033: Dorismond Funeral (fwd)

From: Merrie Archer <merriea@hotmail.com>

National Coalition for Haitian Rights
275 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001-6708

Contact: Jean D. Vernet or Merrie Archer
Phone:  (212)337-0005 FAX:(212)337-0028
E-mail:  <mailto:E-mail: jvernet@nchr.org> jvernet@nchr.org
<mailto:jvernet@nchr.org> , marcher@nchr.org <mailto:marcher@nchr.org>

Several hundred people started down Flatbush Avenue on the morning of
Saturday, March 25 in what began as an emotionally charged, yet calm funeral
procession for Patrick Dorismond,  son of Haitian immigrants, shot on March
16 by an undercover police officer.   Mr. Dorismond was unarmed.   By the
time mourners reached the corner of Church Avenue, nearly 3 miles later, the
crowd numbered several thousand demonstrators.

  The overwhelming majority of the participants who attended the funeral
proceedings were law-abiding citizens who expressed their grief in
solidarity with the Dorismond family and friends.  They should be commended
for their restraint in expressing their outrage at the senseless shooting
which is felt far beyond the borders of New York's Haitian-American

Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director of NCHR said, "We acknowledge that on
the whole, the police was restrained in the face of  such  a  tense
situation .  We have much praise for the officers who accompanied the
mourners from the funeral home to the church.  In particular, we thank the
Haitian-American police officers who volunteered for the detail.  They are
in a unique position to play a key role as intermediaries between the NYPD
and the Haitian community.

  The clash with the police after the end of the funeral was unfortunate,
particularly  since  it might have been averted had the police not moved in
so forcefully to disperse the crowd  which was already thinning out in the
cold and rain.   We do not condone violence from any quarter whether police
or civilian, and call for the dismissal of the the charges against those who
were arrested.

Police leadership would do well to acknowledge  responsibility for the
actions of their officers if relations between the police and the Haitian
community are to improve.  A first, long overdue step would be for the
Commissioner to follow the lead of Mr. Vasquez who, by expressing remorse
for the shooting,  has met us part of the way.   After that, the road would
be long, but at least the journey would have begun.

  <http://www.nchr.org>  < http://www.nchr.org >

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