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a468: Investigation of death of Greorgy Louisgene

From: Dina Paul Parks <DPParks@nchr.org>

							Contact:  Dina Paul
212-337-0005, x11

Haitian Coalition Urges Thorough Investigation in Shooting Death of Haitian
Immigrant Georgy Louisgene
NEW YORK, January 23, 2002   -- The National Coalition for Haitian Rights
(NCHR) is deeply saddened and concerned about the recent shooting of
23-year-old Haitian immigrant, Georgy Louisgene. Mr. Louisgene was fatally
shot five times by the police during an encounter at a Brooklyn housing
project on Wednesday January 16, 2002.  According to the police, Mr.
Louisgene was allegedly armed with a knife and gardening tool and refused to
put these items down, even after repeatedly being ordered to do so.  In
apparent fear for their lives, they fired eight bullets, hitting him five
"We are troubled by the mysterious circumstances surrounding this terrible
incident," said Dina Paul Parks, NCHR's Acting Director.  While news reports
portraying Louisgene as a nameless, deranged man erratically roaming the
streets began circulating the evening of the 16th, a thorough examination,
by the general press or the police, has yet to establish the full facts of
the case.  In addition, Mr. Louisgene's body was not identified until 27
hours after his death.  "This crucial lapse in the handling of the case
gives the appearance of indifference in the face of tragedy," added Ms. Paul
Parks.   "The community needs to be assured that we will always be shown the
requisite concern and respect."
NCHR demands a thorough investigation by the New York Police Department and
the Brooklyn District Attorney's office to ensure that the police officers
involved acted within the bounds of the law.  As a test case for new Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, Mr. Louisgene's death presents an unfortunate opportunity
for his administration and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to reassure the
Haitian community, as well as the City overall, that they will not tolerate
excessive use of force from the department.
We applaud the meeting called yesterday by the 67th police precinct
Assistant Chief, Joseph Fox, to reach out to the community where this
incident took place and attempt to open the lines of communication.  We urge
the faithful and sincere continuation of such initiatives.  Having addressed
this issue of relations between the NYPD and the Haitian community for the
past two years, NCHR is well aware of the potential for harm if these
efforts are perceived as feeble public relations tactics.
NCHR also extends its condolences to the family of Mr. Louisgene.


Dina Paul Parks
Acting Director
National Coalition for Haitian Rights
275 Seventh Avenue, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10001
ph:  212-337-0005, x11
fx:  212-741-8749
email:  dpparks@nchr.org