NAACP president blasts Giuliani for comments over NYPD shooting
March 23, 2000
Web posted at: 9:59 a.m. EST (1459 GMT)
BALTIMORE (CNN) -- NAACP President Kweisi Mfume on Wednesday sharply
criticized New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's continued defense of a police
officer who shot and killed an unarmed African-American last week.
"Giuliani's unethical, if not illegal behavior in this ... all but puts a
nail in the coffin for any real hopes of building trust between the mayor, the
police department and New York's residents of color," Mfume said in a written
Rather than trying to "demonize" the victim,
Giuliani "should be reviewing police training standards to see what steps the
department can take to avoid the unnecessary use of lethal force," Mfume said in the statement.
An undercover officer shot Patrick Dorismond, a 26-year-old security guard
of Haitian descent, during a scuffle that started after plainclothes police
officers approached Dorismond and asked if he would sell them drugs. Dorismond
did not possess any.
The shooting, which is under investigation, has outraged black activists,
the victim's family and the city's Haitian community. It has also led to bitter
exchanges between Giuliani and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in their race
for the U.S. Senate seat.
Giuliani has defended the officer, saying "one version of the facts" is
that Dorismond was "very, very aggressive toward the police." The mayor also
has said Dorismond had a "propensity for violence" and released details of his
police record, including an arrest as a juvenile.
Mfume said, "By displaying such a cavalier and outlandishly repugnant
attitude toward the due process tenets of the American justice system, Mayor
Giuliani might as well have just declared an all out police-war against black
men breathing in public in New York City."