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Saturday, December 02, 2006

This isn't this first time

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Nicholas Heyward, whose son was killed by an officer
in 1994, was among the Queens mourners Friday.

Families, Torn by Police Shots, Reunite in Grief

Published: December 2, 2006

The bus from Miami rolled into the Port Authority station at 6:25 p.m. Thursday, 28 hours after Marie Rose Dorismond set out for New York City, alone on her grim pilgrimage.

It was not the first time she had returned to the place she fled after her only son, Patrick M. Dorismond, was killed at age 26 by the police in 2000; she comes back every Feb. 28, on his birthday, and stays through March 16, the day he was shot in a scuffle with undercover detectives only a few blocks from the bus station. He is buried in Queens.

This time, clutching a rolling suitcase and three sets of neatly pressed dress clothes on hangers, Mrs. Dorismond was returning for the funeral of Sean Bell, the 23-year-old bridegroom who died in Queens on Saturday in a storm of 50 police bullets.

And in doing so, she returned to join again what amounts to an anguished club: the widening circle of unintended friends made up of the relatives of those killed by the police in the city’s streets.

She was here to make herself available to the Bell family, people she had never met, but who felt to her like instant sisters and brothers. And when she could not find a flight that would get her to New York on time, Mrs. Dorismond, 59, traveling alone for the first time, decided to take a Greyhound bus.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Mrs. Dorismond, a Haitian immigrant who came to New York to study nursing when she was 18, said of the relatives of Amadou Diallo and others who died in encounters with the police. “Nobody can understand that pain but me, Mrs. Diallo and the others. When it was my turn, everybody came.”

They had come and been there for her, rushing to her side to introduce themselves — at her son’s wake, at his funeral, at the protests on the streets. Amadou Diallo’s mother, Malcolm Ferguson’s mother, Nicholas Heyward Jr.’s father, Abner Louima himself.

At Sean Bell’s wake yesterday, in a crowded church in Jamaica, Queens, Mrs. Dorismond was weeping in the second row of pews, only a few feet from the open coffin, when Amadou Diallo’s mother, Kadiatou, arrived. Mrs. Dorismond rushed to her friend, the two women hugged for several minutes, and Mrs. Dorismond shouted: “Again? Again? Again?”

As hundreds of people passed through the church to view the coffin, a crowd of protesters ebbed and flowed on the streets outside, swelling to about 500 people by the time the funeral was over and Mr. Bell’s coffin was carried out of the church at 8:30 p.m.

Many held signs that said, “Justice for Sean Bell,” and demonstrators denounced police brutality over loudspeakers, but the event was largely peaceful.

It was Mrs. Dorismond’s first such funeral since her son was killed, but others, like Nicholas Heyward, whose son was killed in 1994, could count off half a dozen.

In addition to his son, 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr., who was playing with a toy gun when he was killed by a housing officer in Brooklyn, recent victims of violent encounters with the police include Amadou Diallo, killed in a hail of 41 bullets in the Bronx; Malcolm Ferguson, a drug suspect whose death came only five days after officers were acquitted in Mr. Diallo’s death; Gidone Busch, a mentally ill man killed by the police in Brooklyn; Patrick Dorismond, killed by an undercover narcotics detective in Manhattan; and Sean Bell, killed in Queens when five undercover detectives opened fire on his car.

In the days before Mr. Bell’s funeral, the anguished club’s grapevine was in full operation: Mrs. Dorismond heard, but was not positive, that Mrs. Diallo, whose son was killed in 1999, would come from Maryland. She had hoped so, because the two had not spoken in about a year, she said.

Mrs. Diallo, meanwhile, was in close contact with the mothers of Gidone Busch, whom she speaks to every month, and Timothy Stansbury Jr., an unarmed man killed in 2004, but neither was able to attend the Bell funeral.

Mr. Heyward had said he was going and was pleased to hear that Mrs. Dorismond was coming in from Florida. Juanita Young, whose son Malcolm Ferguson was killed in 2000, told Mr. Heyward, now a very close friend, that she really wanted to go, but he talked her out of it because she had just been released from the hospital.
To save their asses, the NYPD has been running around South Queens desperate to find the Fourth Man and his gun. They might find a virgin in a Catholic School first, because all they have done is infuriate the community. The victims lawyers say there was no gun, no third man and they have seven witnesses to back their story up.

The amazing thing is seeing people, white people, argue that because the victims were in a strip club which was breaking the law, they somehow courted their fate, or that the murder of two black detective by criminals is equivilient. Or the best yet, that the victims tried to kill the cops, when they admit they were surrounding the car and no one but a cop says they showed a shield.

What people need to understand is the anger comes from the refusal of juries to jail cops after they murder people in the streets. No matter how egregious the murder, there is always an excuse. They must have done something to get shot. When they're 10, 14, 92. They did something.

Then you get the racist argument put forth by people like Clyde Haberman, suggesting that the negroes should be happy there is less crime, eventhough their unarmed men are gunned down like cattle by a man who has spent the better part of a year caging drinks in a nightclub while armed.

Well, let's explain why people are pissed. In every police shooting, no one is jailed, but the taxpayers ger a bill for a couple of million dollars. No wrong doing, but a civil judgement. Notice the contradiction there?

And then they blame Sharpton or someone else for making noise, when in reality, they're keeping people from rioting. Only non-white communities in New York are asked to accept the shooting of the unarmed. A criminal like fat Nick Minucchi can have his dumb as shit mother claim conspiracy, despite her bum of a son didn't have a job and had money. Yet, when someone suggests that the police committed murder, they get all kinds of indignation.

Well, how angry are people?

And if you think that's a solitary opinion, I feel for you.

posted by Steve @ 12:57:00 PM

12:57:00 PM

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