Living ‘Black’ in the United States of America

And living to tell the tales.

Traffic was heavy on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights on my way home to Ridgewood, NJ, after work on Wednesday, which wasn’t exactly news. But, as I approached a stretch where Route 46 and Interstate 80 go over Route 17, traffic eased and I saw the reason why. Rubbernecking motorists.

What were they looking at?

A black man with both hands on top of his head standing in front of a white police officer on the grassy area next to the shoulder. The cop’s car, lights flashing, and another car in front of it were parked on the shoulder. Unlike Alton Sterling on Tuesday or Philando Castile on Wednesday, this black man stopped by a white cop was still alive.

James Eagan Holmes, heavily armed, killed 12 and injured 70 people in a Colorado theater and was captured alive. Dylann Roof killed nine churchgoers in South Carolina and was captured alive. Jason Dalton killed six and injured two in Kalamazoo. His life was preserved as he was being arrested.

Cedric Chatman. Tamir Rice. Laquan McDonald. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Black men make up 6% of U.S. population; are 40% of people killed by police.

He’s lucky to be alive, I thought as I drove on. Was that too sanguine a response to the situation?

Jesse Williams Speaking out

I am not taking the situation lightly. I’ve lived long enough to be a middle-aged black male despite too many tangles with cops, both in the United States of America and elsewhere, to do that. But, as these killings pile up, becoming more and more common each day, I’ve long realized that I’ve been lucky to still be alive to tell tales of encounters with cops.

My narrow escape from racist Afrikaners in 1994, while on assignment for the New York Daily News in South Africa, is an entirely different story that will be told a different day. Not today. Also, it’s available on the Internet for anyone curious enough to want to find out.

St. Louis, MO in the ’80’s

A police car pulled up behind my car as I eased into traffic after a college friend and I left a bar late one night many years ago. He pulled me over. The cop came up to the car, peered in, then instructed me to step out. I did. He said that he had stopped me for suspected drunk driving because he had observed me weaving in and out of traffic. I protested that I did no such thing and that, in any case, I couldn’t be drunk driving since I had not been drinking.

Continue reading “Living ‘Black’ in the United States of America”

A Prayer for Rude Boy

Dear Lord:

If You’re listening up in heaven, please grant me this one wish: Let not the Rudy Giuliani misadventures, otherwise known as his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, end. Not just yet. Could You let it run for at least one more week?

The thing is this. I was a newspaper reporter once. And, in that capacity, I covered Rudy when he was mayor of New York City. I think I have in me one dynamite post about Rudy and me. In any case, it’ll be such a shame to have to write the memoirs of those days—all the laughs we had, the tears we shed, such a guy!—after he’s left the campaign trail. What fun is that?

So, God, would You prolong his agony long enough for me to get the post in? No, You don’t have to let him win Florida. You know, Rudy G. has this “Big State” strategy? Just let him do well enough so he thinks he could still win the whole thing. Yeah, You can smite him on Super Tuesday.

I’ll try and get my post in before then.

Thank You, Lord.

Michael

Teach Them to Be The Bravest — Green By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Daily News Staff Writers

Friday, May 04, 2001

Public Advocate Mark Green urged the city yesterday to establish educational programs for firefighting at two high schools and two community colleges to increase the number of minority group members in the FDNY.

In a city where minority groups now represent the majority of the population, the Fire Department remains overwhelmingly white and male.

Mark Green at yesterday’s press conference on minorities in the FDNY

In a letter to Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, Green, a Democratic mayoral hopeful, released statistics showing that blacks and Latinos make up 7% of the FDNY, as compared with 40% in Los Angeles’ fire department, 29% in Chicago and 30% in Philadelphia.

In 1999, blacks and Latinos accounted for 22% of those who took the firefighter exam and 18% of those who passed.

Green also said more needs to be done to increase the number of women in the department.

Currently, women represent less than 1% of the FDNY workforce.

The city “needs to create a pipeline of qualified minority and women applicants,” he said.

“The best way to permanently change the applicant pool is … to create at least two citywide high schools for fire sciences and a minimum of two fire science programs at CUNY,” Green added.

Mayor Giuliani’s office had no comment. In another development yesterday, about 30 demonstrators rallied outside FDNY headquarters in downtown Brooklyn to oppose firefighter candidate Police Officer Edward McMellon.

A handful of Muslim firefighters and their supporters oppose the possible hiring of McMellon because he was one of four cops who gunned down unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo in his Bronx vestibule in February 1999.

“Why does the fire commissioner want to hire McMellon to become a firefighter and save lives after he took my son’s life?” Diallo’s father, Saikou, said at the rally.

The group also demanded that the department hire a Muslim chaplain. FDNY Islamic Society President Kevin James noted that the agency has two Jewish, two Protestant and three Catholic chaplains, but no Muslims.

Diallo Kin ‘Refuse to Lose Hope’ By PATRICE O’SHAUGHNESSY, Daily News Staff Writer

nullSunday, April 29, 2001

Amadou Diallo’s parents expressed anguish yesterday over the Police Department’s exoneration of the four cops who killed their son, and urged supporters to “refuse to lose hope.”

“Whoever said [the cops] have done nothing wrong, they are wrong,” said Diallo’s mother, Kadiatou. “I am saying to Mayor Giuliani the decision is wrong, I am saying to the police commissioner the decision is wrong … let’s make changes to prevent this from happening again.”

Amadou Diallo’s parents speak out at Al Sharpton’s Harlem headquarters.
Kadiatou and Saikou Diallo flanked the Rev. Al Sharpton at his Harlem headquarters to denounce Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik’s decision Friday to put the cops back on the job — without guns or badges, but without punishment — based on the findings of two police panels that deemed the fatal shooting of the unarmed man a mistake.

“They are letting the police go free to kill and kill,” Saikou Diallo said.

Sharpton announced plans to compile a record of incidents of racial profiling, arbitrary stop-and-frisks and other interaction between cops and minority groups to build a civil class-action suit against the NYPD.

He also said the black community will target an unnamed major corporation that supports the police union.

Sharpton derided Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen for approving one of the cops, Edward McMellon, as a firefighter candidate and promised to protest at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn.

“This week we will prepare for a huge visit to the Fire Department,” Sharpton said.

Meanwhile, Giuliani reiterated support for Kerik’s decision.

“The reality of the Diallo case is that it was tragic and horrible,” the mayor said on John Gambling’s WABC radio show.

“A mixed jury of four blacks and eight whites concluded that. As did the Clinton Justice Department, when they decided not to pursue a civil rights case. And that’s what the police panel concluded.

“All these people can’t be wrong. … You have to willing to adjust your attitude in the face of reality.”

With Michael O. Allen

Art of controversy: New ‘Sensation’ sparks throngs of protesters By Michael O. Allen, Michael R. Blood and Dave Goldiner, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

nullSunday, October 3, 1999

NEW YORK — The controversial “Sensation” exhibit opened Saturday amid heated protests outside the Brooklyn Museum of Art — and a massive show of support from art lovers.
Nearly 1,000 mostly Catholic protesters prayed, clutched rosary beads and held signs denouncing the exhibit, which includes a portrait titled “The Holy Virgin Mary” decorated with elephant dung.
“Enough is enough; We draw the line here,” shouted Desiree Bernstein, a member of an evangelical church on Staten Island. “This is not art to me. This is an abomination.”
But block-long lines also snaked outside the museum as a near-record number of supporters waited to see the explosive show.
Museum officials opened the doors early to accommodate a massive crush of visitors — many of whom passionately defended the museum’s right to have the exhibit.
“I don’t feel it’s offensive at all,” said Julie Durkin, 21, a student at Parsons School of Design. “People just need to be open-minded.”
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who started the controversy over the show when he denounced it 10 days ago, was nowhere to be seen.
Aides said the mayor — who slashed city funding and plans to sue to evict the century-old museum — did not plan to comment on the opening.
He seemed like the only New Yorker keeping his lips sealed Saturday, as protesters of all stripes created a near-carnival atmosphere outside the stately museum on Eastern Parkway.
Conservative politicians blasted the exhibit as a “hate crime.” Catholic activists handed out anti-exhibit vomit bags, and a nun held a sign reading, “Defend your Holy Mother against this porno.”
They were joined in an unlikely alliance by animal rights activists, who object to several works in the exhibit that include dead animals.
“There’s a fundamental difference between free expression and art that causes harm to living beings,” said Adam Weissman of the Animal Defense League.
On the other side of the trenches in the budding cultural war, a potpourri of artists and First Amendment advocates also rallied behind a separate set of police barricades.
Gary Schwartz, executive director of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, handed out leaflets reading, “Hey, Rudy, I’m a taxpayer too.”
“The purpose of art is to challenge,” Schwartz said. “Whether it offends some people shouldn’t determine whether other people can see a painting.”
One artist dressed in a Grim Reaper costume to dramatize Giuliani’s supposed antipathy toward the arts. Others held signs of the mayor’s face splattered with dung.
Despite the tension, the protests were peaceful, with police reporting only a few shouting matches. One veteran anti-Giuliani protester, Robert Lederman, was arrested when he refused to stay behind the barricades, police said.
Police said there was a bomb threat at the building earlier.

SHOWING: Betsy Feliciano, above left, carries a picture of the Virgin Mary during a protest Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Viewers, left, examine Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” during opening day of the British exhibit.
MUSEUM SHOWING: John Dixon looks at “Angel” a silicone and acrylic sculpture by artist Ron Mueck during the opening day of the controversial British “Sensation” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York on Saturday. New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani opposes the show.null

3 Nudie Bars Get Shuttered By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and FRANK LOMBARDI, With Mike Claffey, Daily News Staff Writers

Sunday, August 02, 1998

The city’s crackdown on sex shops officially got under way this weekend with the padlocking of three topless bars, Mayor Giuliani announced yesterday.

The three were closed Friday as part of at least a dozen enforcement proceedings the city launched against live-sex entertainment premises and book and video stores.

The padlocked bars are: El Coche, 904 Hunts Point Ave., the Bronx; Wiggles, 8814 Avenue D, Brooklyn, and Sharks Go Go Bar, 589 Lincoln Ave., Staten Island.

The closure of Sharks, a topless club in residential Midland Beach, was greeted with relief by neighbors and parishioners of St. Mary Margaret Catholic Church, which is a block away.

As young children rode bikes on the quiet street, a woman who lives next door to the bar said that patrons sometimes had sex with dancers in cars on the street. She requested anonymity.

Mario Pisciottano, 74, a neighborhood resident on his way to Mass last evening, said, “It’s about time they closed that place. We’ve been fighting to get them out of here for a long time. The only ones complaining are the patrons who have got to hunt for a new place.”

Pisciottano said the brick building had housed a neighborhood bar until its owners converted the place into a strip club almost 10 years ago.

Two bright orange stickers on the bar’s metal gate announced that the place was “closed by court order.”

The orders were obtained from state Supreme Court justices under the city’s nuisance-abatement procedures a civil process that allows a premise to be padlocked after three separate violations of various laws, including the 1995 sex-shop zoning law.

Under that statute, sex shops are prohibited within 500 feet of residential areas, schools, churches, day care centers and other X-rated businesses.

Though the sex zoning law was enacted in 1995, opponents managed to block enforcement until now through numerous constitutional challenges and appeals that were finally resolved in the city’s favor.

Judges granted temporary closing orders against the three topless bars based on evidence city inspectors and plainclothes cops gathered by posing as customers, according to the mayor and his criminal justice coordinator, Steven Fishner.

Fishner said the sex-enforcement inspectors either saw dancers in a prohibited “state of undress,” or dancing in forbidden ways, such as simulating sex acts.

The city’s enforcement action will now trigger protracted case-by-case litigation that will revolve around specific provisions and definitions in the zoning law, rather than the law’s constitutionality.

For instance, the law covers book or video stores that devote “a substantial portion” of their stock to material featuring “specified sexual activities” of a graphic sexual nature. Lawyers for padlocked shops plan to squabble over each definition.

Giuliani was confident yesterday that the closures marked the beginning of the end of most of the 146 sex shops originally targeted for closing under the sex-zoning law.

“The race here will go to the steady, not the quick,” Giuliani said of the expected court fights triggered by the crackdown.

Herald Price Fahringer, a lawyer who represents most of the endangered X-rated businesses, said the three closed bars are not among his clients. All he would say was, “When they start with my clients, I’ll be ready for them.”

Closing orders against one of his clients, Show World in Times Square around the corner from a Catholic church are to be argued tomorrow.

Rudy Won’t Return 10G Gift From Abe By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and RICHARD T. PIENCIAK, Daily News Staff Writers

Sunday, November 9, 1997

Mayor Giuliani said yesterday that he has no intention of returning developer Abe Hirschfeld’s $10,000 campaign contribution, even though the gadfly politico and one-time newspaper publisher is being investigated for allegedly plotting to kill a long-time business partner.

“Generally, the rule that I follow here is if someone gives me a contribution and it turns out they are alleged to have done something, I either return it or not, depending how the allegation works out,” Giuliani said. “Right now, it’s an allegation.”

Daily News columnist Mark Kriegel reported yesterday that Hirschfeld, 78, a failed candidate for Manhattan borough president and one-time candidate for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate, is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a possible murder-for-hire plot.

The News identified the alleged victim as Hirschfeld’s long-time real estate associate, Stanley Stahl, 72.

The two moguls have been partners in several major real estate transactions over four decades, but their relationship has grown acrimonious in recent years.

Sources told the News that investigators are trying to determine whether Hirschfeld contracted through a third party to have Stahl murdered, then changed his mind.

Hirschfeld, who declined yesterday to comment on The News story, is free on $1 million bail on charges he cheated the city and state out of $2.2 million in taxes.

He claims the 123-count indictment is part of a political conspiracy to prevent him from gaining public office.

DA Robert Morgenthau’s murder-for-hire investigation grew out of the tax fraud prosecution, according to the sources.

Hirschfeld, who served briefly as publisher of the New York Post, has not been asked to appear for questioning, the sources said.

When asked about the murder-for-hire allegations earlier last week, Hirschfeld told The News: “I have no idea what kind of bulls— you’re talking about. I am stunned.”

Stahl, who has been accompanied by bodyguards since early this year, declined to comment.

When the tax indictment was returned in May, Giuliani declined to return $10,500 in contributions his campaign had received from Hirschfeld and his wife.

In keeping the money, the mayor reversed a long-standing policy of refusing donations from those under indictment.

The mayor was asked yesterday about keeping the contribution “now that [Hirschfeld] is a murder suspect.”

Giuliani avoided answering directly, responding instead about Hirschfeld’s outstanding criminal charges.

He said returning the contribution now wouldn’t be fair to Hirschfeld’s reputation: “He is going to go to trial. Let’s see what the outcome of his case is.”

Original Story Date: 110997

Rudy Pooh-Poohs Dem Bigs’ Digs By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and LISA REIN Daily News Staff Writers

Sunday, October 26, 1997

With a comfortable lead in the polls, Mayor Giuliani yesterday refused to engage in a war of words with Democratic challenger Ruth Messinger — even allowing harsh comments from his predecessor, former Mayor David Dinkins, to go unchallenged.

Dinkins, who spent the better part of a rainy afternoon campaigning with Messinger in Brooklyn and Queens, accused Republican Giuliani of running an “out-of-control” campaign that would “self-destruct” before Election Day.

“I predict that Mayor Giuliani has a great capacity to self-destruct, and I think he’s going to do that in the next 10 days,” Dinkins said, at times stealing the spotlight from Messinger yesterday.

“He’s out of control right now,” Dinkins continued, recalling the mayor’s blistering attack on Messinger for not attending Mass on Columbus Day. “He seems to think that the whole world started on Jan. 1, 1994, when he became mayor.”

But Giuliani, crisscrossing the city with campaign stops in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Harlem and Throgs Neck in the Bronx, refrained from attacking Dinkins, saying only, “The best thing for me to do with a question like that is to say, ‘I’m not going to respond.’ ”

When asked if he thought Dinkins could rescue Messinger’s flagging campaign, the mayor said he “couldn’t evaluate the other side.”

The mayor’s comments came at Sylvia’s Restaurant, a Harlem landmark where he capped a swing through clothing stores along W. 125th St., receiving warm greetings from proprietors.

Earlier, the mayor tasted meatball calzones and onion rings on his first-ever tour of a superstore, the Costco in Sunset Park. The visit came a day after he pledged to mount an aggressive campaign to revive his failed proposal to speed up the opening of more megastores if he wins reelection.

But as he marched in the small Parade of Flags along Fifth Ave. just a few miles away, some merchants told the mayor that superstores would decimate their mom-and-pop stores.

Messinger campaigned in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, getting thumbs-ups from shoppers and merchants along Broadway.

She then took the stage with Dinkins at the Panamanian Day parade in Brooklyn, where she accused Giuliani of positioning himself for a run for national office, a move she insisted would push him to the right politically and divert his concerns from the city’s schools.

Giuliani denied the charge, calling it an “irrelevant issue” and calling his “sole focus” his race for reelection.

Original Story Date: 102697

Debate Can Wait For Yanks – Rudy By PAUL SCHWARTZMAN and MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writers

nullSunday, October 5, 1997
Mayor Giuliani said yesterday that he wants to reschedule his Thursday night debate against Democrat Ruth Messinger to avoid a potential conflict with a Yankees playoff game.

The lifelong Yankees fan said most New Yorkers, himself included, would rather watch the Yankees chase the pennant than the mayoral candidates duke it out.

“I would want the maximum number of people to watch the debate,” he said.

“I also have to admit that I’d rather watch the game. Wouldn’t you? . . . You have to admit the reality that huge numbers of New Yorkers want to watch the ballgame.”

The Yankees will be playing if they beat Cleveland to advance in the playoffs.

Messinger said she would debate on another day as long as Thursday’s encounter remained on the schedule, too. Giuliani aides rejected the offer.

The Campaign Finance Board scheduled the debate under a law requiring candidates to take part if they receive public financing for their campaigns. A second debate will be held later in the month.

Giuliani has rearranged his schedule for the Yankees before. He postponed a campaign fund-raiser last year because of a potential conflict with the World Series.

The debates represent a chance for Messinger to gain ground in her underdog candidacy.

Mayoral aides denied Giuliani was trying to send a message that it’s okay for people not to watch.

Meanwhile, it appeared that Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese, an also-ran in the Democratic mayoral primary, was moving toward endorsing Messinger, possibly this week.

Messinger participated yesterday in a march against child labor in overseas sweatshops. The march included criticism of the Disney Co.

Messinger said that she was not against patronizing Disney’s stores, but that people still could “send a message” that child labor is unacceptable. She said it would be “tragic” if Giuliani did not attend because of Disney’s business interests in the city.

Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said it was hypocritical for Messinger to march when she accepted a $5,500 contribution from a Disney family member.

SAL WHO? Runs Strong 3rd By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and JERE HESTER, Daily News Staff Writers

Wednesday, September 10, 1997

Maverick City Councilman Sal Albanese surprised the experts again last night with a strong third-place finish in the Democratic mayoral primary.

The 47-year-old Brooklyn lawmaker had 21% of the vote with 99% of ballots counted — a good showing by a candidate who was met with responses of “Sal who?” when he announced his candidacy in March 1996.

“We came up short in . . . a tremendous battle for the soul of New York,” Albanese said in his concession speech at the New York Hilton last night, as his supporters chanted, “Sal! Sal! Sal!”

He said he hadn’t decided whom to support in the run-off. “I’m a Democrat, I’m a strong Democrat, but tonight I’m not going to make any decision,” said Albanese (pictured, with his daughter), who left the door open to a potential run as an independent candidate in November’s general election.

Albanese, who ran his grass-roots, citywide campaign on a shoestring budget of less than $900,000, blamed money woes for not being able to take out TV advertisements until the race’s final days.

“We ran hard and we ran against all the odds. But we never gave up,” said Albanese, who made labor and wage issues the centerpiece of his campaign.

“It’s clear that we began to connect with the voters,” he said. “We just could not reach enough people. We shook a lot of hands. But you have 8 million people in this city, you have 2 1/2 million registered voters. You have to get on the air.”

Still, for Albanese, the third-place showing marked a high point in his quirky political career.

It wasn’t the first time that the Italian immigrant and former public school teacher has surprised naysayers.

“Sal has always fooled the experts,” said his campaign manager, Don Crouch.

A graduate of John Jay High School in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn and York College in Queens, Albanese launched his political career in 1982 by ousting Brooklyn City Councilman Angelo Arculeo, a 29-year incumbent.

He quickly made his mark as a maverick who often defied Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D-Queens) and his conservative Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst constituents by backing liberal causes such as gay and abortion rights.

On the campaign trail, he hammered Mayor Giuliani for doling out tax breaks to big corporations that pay low wages to nonunion laborers.

His mayoral platform called for cutting taxes for small business. But he also pushed to raise income taxes for families earning more than $150,000 and for suburban residents who work in the city.

He wrote and worked with fellow council members long enough to pass a popular piece of legislation requiring city contractors to pay prevailing union wages.

Original Story Date: 091097

Volpe’s Return Spurs Angry Blast By MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writer

Sunday, September 7, 1997

Lawyers for alleged police torture victim Abner Louima yesterday criticized city officials for allowing the central suspect in the 70th Precinct scandal to return to police duty.

Officer Justin Volpe, accused of sodomizing Louima with a stick, will return to modified duty this week. That means he has been stripped of his gun and badge, and will work at a desk job.

Under civil service law, cops cannot be suspended without pay for more than 30 days.

“It is shocking, it is unfair, it is morally unacceptable that while Abner Louima continues to languish in his hospital bed, the man who stands indicted for putting him there can be allowed to return to business as usual,” said Vladimir Rodney, a spokesman for the Haitian-American Alliance.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Carl Thomas, Louima’s lead attorney, said that Mayor Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir should have taken steps to prevent the return of the officers, and that they should not hide behind provisions of the police union contract.

Don’t Sell Cops Short, Says Rudy By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and PAUL SCHWARTZMAN, Daily News Staff Writers

nullSunday, August 31, 1997

A day after thousands protesting police brutality marched on City Hall, Mayor Giuliani yesterday sought to refocus attention on cops’ accomplishments while his chief rival took the day off.

Eleven days before the Democratic primary, front-runner Ruth Messinger spent the day out of sight with her family, while opponents Sal Albanese and the Rev. Al Sharpton reached for votes in Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens.

Of the Democratic candidates, only Sharpton invoked the rally and the alleged police torture on Abner Louima, as he has since the reports of the incident first surfaced three weeks ago.

Greeting a cheering Latino crowd in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Giuliani said it was time for the public to cease castigating cops.

“Yesterday, over a 24-hour period, there was one murder in New York City,” Giuliani said. “That didn’t happen because the Police Department aren’t doing its job.

“They are saving lives in New York City while some people have been spending time excessively bashing them. That’s a big mistake. That has to stop.”

Giuliani also praised the cops for enduring during Friday’s demonstration a torrent of curses and taunts that they are racists and Nazis.

“That’s a lot of people who are calling you names, rushing up towards you, using words like Nazis and fascists — things that should just not be said,” he said, adding that the cops’ restraint showed that they are the “finest police department” in the country.

Although protesters castigated Giuliani during the march — at which Messinger, Sharpton and former Mayor David Dinkins spoke — one political analyst said the mayor would not suffer politically from the event.

“The real story — that the police and the marchers were able to maintain civility — is a plus for him,” said Mitchell Moss, director of the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University.

Approaching the final week before the Sept. 9 primary, Messinger today plans to speak at a Brooklyn church service and campaign in Riverdale. Yesterday, she was nowhere to be found.

“She is spending it with her family,” said campaign spokesman Lee Jones, adding that it was the Manhattan borough president’s last chance for a respite before “eight weeks of solid fun and games with Uncle Rudy.”

Sharpton, for his part, sought to seize on the protest’s aftermath to attack Giuliani at a rally of approximately 200 supporters in Harlem.

“It gives people the idea that he can’t deal with issues other than his own pat issues,” Sharpton said afterward. “He can’t deal with unemployment, he can’t deal with schools and he can’t deal with police brutality. He’s a good law enforcement guy, but that’s the end of it.”

Touring Queens, Albanese said, when asked, that he hopes Friday’s demonstration focuses attention on what he said was Giuliani’s failure to deal with police brutality.

“You can’t lay the [Louima] incident at his doorstep,” he said, “but everyone is focusing on abuse. It focuses attention on the department and how it has addressed abuse.”

Shot Cop Is Stable By MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writer

Sunday, June 8, 1997

A rookie cop was in stable condition yesterday after four hours of surgery to repair a bullet wound suffered in a Bronx shootout that left a robbery suspect dead.

Police Officer Washington Zurita — on his first unsupervised patrol — was struck in the left arm, but managed to fire his 9-mm. pistol at Lavaughn Knowings, killing him.

The officers followed their training to the letter and saved innocent lives, Mayor Giuliani said.

The incident began around 8 p.m. Friday when Zurita, 28, and fellow rookie cop Robert Caralyus, 30, were flagged down by robbery victims.

Knowings allegedly robbed four people at 1190 Shakespeare Ave. The victims followed Knowings and hailed the officers when he ducked into a building near 167th St.

The officers found Knowings on an elevator with building residents, and ordered him out. Knowings responded by firing a shot at the officers, wounding Zurita.

Original Story Date: 060897