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Blue Lines, Shaded in Black and Brown: The Diallo Shooting, Race and Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  9 nuts. So there’s that aspect of it, that we’ve accepted the war on crime and the police are getting a mandate to go deal with that. Few mayors have been more insistently supportive of the NYPD than has Giuliani, and he demonstrated that position soon after the Diallo officers were acquitted. Given the anger and mourning in communities of color, the Mayor’s commentary was particularly telling: With regards to the Diallo verdict, Giuliani said, “If police officers act in the line of duty to protect a community against violent criminals and drug dealers, then that community should stand up and support them when police officers’ lives are put in jeopardy.” Although Mr. Giuliani was asked several times how he could answer concerns in the neighborhood about police brutality, he did not directly answer. 5 The mayor commonly equated drug offenses with violent crime and emphasized the heroic nature of law enforcement’s actions. So ardent was he in his partisanship that he occasionally ran afoul of minimal levels of propriety. Thirteen months after Diallo’s death, Patrick Dorismund, a 26- year-old black man and an unarmed off-duty security guard, was killed by an undercover cop on a Manhattan street. It was the fourth killing of an unarmed black man by NYPD in a little over a year. The mayor opined that Dorismund had a “propensity for violence” and released details of his sealed juvenile police record. 6 Even supporters of the mayor balked at that indiscretion, especially when it turned out that Dorismund had for years stayed clear of the law. But Giuliani’s excesses demonstrate something more than a politician’s ideology. Re-elected in 1997, his views reflected something

Authors: Roy, Beth.
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9
nuts.
So there’s that aspect of it, that we’ve accepted the war on crime 
and the police are getting a mandate to go deal with that. 
Few mayors have been more insistently supportive of the NYPD than 
has Giuliani, and he demonstrated that position soon after the Diallo officers 
were acquitted. Given the anger and mourning in communities of color, the 
Mayor’s commentary was particularly telling:
With regards to the Diallo verdict, Giuliani said, “If police officers act 
in the line of duty to protect a community against violent criminals 
and drug dealers, then that community should stand up and support 
them when police officers’ lives are put in jeopardy.” Although Mr. 
Giuliani was asked several times how he could answer concerns in 
the neighborhood about police brutality, he did not directly answer.
The mayor commonly equated drug offenses with violent crime and 
emphasized the heroic nature of law enforcement’s actions. So ardent was 
he in his partisanship that he occasionally ran afoul of minimal levels of 
propriety. Thirteen months after Diallo’s death, Patrick Dorismund, a 26-
year-old black man and an unarmed off-duty security guard, was killed by an 
undercover cop on a Manhattan street. It was the fourth killing of an 
unarmed black man by NYPD in a little over a year. The mayor opined that 
Dorismund had a “propensity for violence” and released details of his sealed 
juvenile police record.
 Even supporters of the mayor balked at that 
indiscretion, especially when it turned out that Dorismund had for years 
stayed clear of the law. 
But Giuliani’s excesses demonstrate something more than a 
politician’s ideology. Re-elected in 1997, his views reflected something 


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