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#3059: Rudy Sinking in His Own Mud (fwd)


Rudy Sinking in His Own Mud ---By ELLIS HENICAN 03/29/2000 NEWSDAY (NY)

He could have sidestepped the question.He could have waited for the
Manhattan grand jury to decide. He could have said, "I already said what
I have to say about Patrick Dorismond. Weren't you listening to me last
week?" But no. Rudy Giuliani has all the restraint of a big yellow pile
driver, and  yesterday he was digging himself a new hole."There are no
privacy interests that surround toxicology reports," the mayor announced
in the crowded Blue Room at City Hall.And what did you expect?It wasn't
so long ago that Giuliani's grip on New York politics was nearly total.
His power was unquestioned. His future was bright. Now look at the poor
man. He's grasping desperately at the air. He was at it again yesterday,
breathlessly striving to soil the  reputation of young Dorismond, the
unarmed security guard shot dead by an undercover cop 13 days ago on
Eighth Avenue. Another day, another few clumps of mud on the corpse of a
man  who can no longer defend himself. That is pretty much how time    
passes these days at City Hall.Yesterday's trashing of the dead man
arrived in whispers without visible fingerprints. The first reports were
credited to unnamed  "sources."  "Dorismond was a pot head," the
whispers said. These "sources" reported that, according to a toxicology
report from the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, the 
26-year-old Bishop Loughlin graduate had trace amounts of marijuana in
his system when he died. The traces of marijuana were said to be so
tiny, it was impossible  to tell whether Dorismond actually smoked any
pot himself-or  merely inhaled the fumes second hand. And from these
tests, there was no way of knowing when, if ever, this marijuana
inhaling might have occurred.Giuliani denied putting out the pot story
himself, the way he had ordered police to violate state law and unseal
the dead man's juvenile record. But the enthusiasm the mayor mustered to
repeat, embrace and amplify the latest slander-well, it did make you 
wonder if the original "source" might have had a condescending way of
speaking to reporters and a very funny comb-over on his head. "I think
there are a lot of factors that will come out, and it will indicate that
the picture is a lot more complex in this case than the press has
unfortunately painted," Giuliani gloated.The mayor was only revving up.
He went on to review-slanted and  exaggerated almost beyond
recognition-a full week of trash talk  about the dead man.
"His record was relevant to the propensity for violence," Giuliani    
said. "His entire record was sealed. So the picture that would be
created would be a man who never had been arrested, never been charged
with anything, and never had any history of violence at all." The truth,
of course, is that Dorismond was never convicted of any crime.The
juvenile matter, which occurred when he was 13 years old, was taken care
of in Family Court. The other cases were all either  uncharged, unproven
or reduced to disorderly conduct-mere "violations" of the law, less
severe even than the lowliest misdemeanors.And whatever was in his
ancient background, what did that have to do with being shot on the
sidewalk by police-for a crime no more severe than just saying "no" to
an offer of drugs? Listening to Giuliani yesterday, Patrick Dorismond
sounded like Jesse James. "What those records show," the hard-hearted
mayor said, "is a propensity for violence that's important for people to
know in judging whether the police officers were telling the truth that
he began the violence and caused his death." Funny, and I thought
marijuana was supposed to make you mellow.That was never addressed by
Giuliani. Nor was the question of what any of this has to do with a
shooting by an undercover police officer of another unarmed black
man.Did the pot pull the trigger? Could the cop possibly have known what
little particles were floating in Dorismond's blood?And if he had, how
did that justify the shooting?It was madness, really, and desperation by
a mayor so recently in firm political control, who has been watching his
reputation, his aura and his future cave in on him.My friend David Diaz,
the reporter for Channel 2 news, asked the obvious question yesterday,
asked it straight out. "Mister Mayor," Diaz said, "how would you respond
to the people  who feel that not only is the Police Department out of
control, you're out of control, that you are the lawless one in the
city? You set the tone. You disregard court opinions when you don't like
 them. The federal court finds it necessary to rebuke you about     
what it sees as some attempt to get around First Amendment          
requirements. What is your answer to those who say that Giuliani is out
of control? Giuliani is the chief lawless one?""Oh come on," Giuliani
said. "Let's move on to a serious question." Diaz tried a second time.
"Mr. Mayor, what is your answer to that question?""My answer is let's
move to a serious subject." Like trashing Patrick Dorismond.