Patrick Dorismond was gunned down in New York City by NYPD undercover cops who approached him and his friend and asked where they could buy drugs. In response to public outcry about the killing The City’s Mayor Rudolph Giuliani released the sealed juvenile record of Patrick Dorismond‘s arrest for robbery and assault when he was just 13. Rudolph Giuliani stated then “People have the right to know the background and record of a person involved in a criminal situation,” he said, adding darkly, “He’s no altar boy.”
Giuliani did not mention that the charges against Dorismond was nothing more than a fight between two little boys over a quarter and that the case never even made it to a Judge. In fact Dorismond had no criminal record. Regarding the no altar boy comment, the Napoleonic Giuliani was so eager to sully the name of the dead Patrick Dorismond he did not bother to engage his brain before he put his mouth in gear. Patrick Dorismond was indeed an altar boy at the Holy Cross Church in Brooklyn. Dorismond’s mother had actually named her son after her favorite Priest. The hypocrisy of Giuliani was astounding, when his 20 year old daughter was arrested for shoplifting he stated,”It’s a private matter and it will stay that way”.
Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor. Times writer John Eligon.
There is a mentality surrounding black life in America that makes any infraction with Police worthy of death. I was stunned when I learned sometime ago that people who are placed on parole are cautioned not to come in contact with law enforcement. In fact coming in contact with law enforcement is grounds for being sent back to prison. Wonder what police do to people they do not like, do they willfully come in contact with parolees? You bet they do. As we look at events unfold we are reminded as to why many men of color cannot disentangle themselves from the web which is the criminal justice system. It is no wonder reactionary forces use criminal record to legitimatize police unlawfully killing black men.
The black community has to nationalize this issue. Ferguson is just one area, as people march and demand justice in Ferguson, Police continue to murder black men in St Louis County, In New York City, In California, In Ohio, and in cities and communities all across America. The black community simply cannot use the old methods of putting out fires of racial injustice as they occur. What is needed is a flood of action which will sweep across this country effectively dousing all embers once and for all.