No Indictment in Dorismond Shooting

ByABC News
July 28, 2000, 6:57 AM

N E W  Y O R K, July 28 -- A grand jury declined to indict an undercovernarcotics officer Thursday in the March slaying of an unarmed blackman that aggravated tensions between minorities and New Yorkpolice.

The decision cleared Detective Anthony Vasquez of any criminalwrongdoing for firing a fatal shot into Patrick Dorismonds chest.

The undercover officer had approached Dorismond, a 26-year-oldsecurity guard, near Madison Square Garden and asked where he couldpurchase marijuana. The exchange led to a fight.

What the grand jury found is that on the basis of theevidence, nobody could be charged with a crime, ManhattanDistrict Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

Dorismonds parents and sister, joined by the Rev. Al Sharptonat an emotional news conference, called on the Justice Departmentto take over the case.

You Just Took Everything

Dorismonds mother wept and denounced Mayor Rudolph Giuliani,who like Morgenthau offered condolences to the family, but defendedthe grand jury decision.

Mr. Mayor ... you just took everything from my son, shesaid.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said her officeroutinely reviews such cases, and would look at Dorismonds deathto determine whether there were any violations of the federalcriminal civil rights laws.

Dorismond was killed just three weeks after the acquittal offour officers in the Bronx slaying of Amadou Diallo, anotherunarmed black man.

The case took on added significance when Giuliani, then stillrunning for Senate, set off a furor by publicly releasingDorismonds sealed juvenile criminal record. The mayor alsopublicized a toxicology report showing Dorismond had marijuana inhis system when he died.

Decision Enraged Family, Communtiy

Giulianis decision to go public with the records infuriated thedead mans family, black activists and the citys Haitiancommunity. Dorismond was of Haitian descent.