Pubdate: Thu, 10 Aug 2000
Date: 08/10/2000
Source: Newsday (NY)
Author: Doris Byrd and Ronald Hampton

The National Black Police Association represents the interests of
black police officers and communities of color.

As police officers, we have the knowledge and experience to assert
that the failure of the grand jury to indict Det. Anthony Vasquez for
killing Patrick Dorismond represents a serious injustice.

The association suspects that the prosecution presented a lackluster
case. Dorismond was unarmed and did not provoke a confrontation with
the police. His death and the inaction of the justice system is yet
another example of marginalization of black life by many police
officers and prosecutors. Just as the acquittal of the officers who
killed Amadou Diallo spawned the Dorismond shooting, so will this
grand jury's decision set off another round of brazen, unlawful
racially discriminatory behavior by some police officers.

Doris Byrd and Ronald Hampton

Note: The writers are, respectively, chairwoman and executive director
of the National Black Police Association, based in Washington, D.C.