Ducking Diallo

White Pols and Press Tread Lightly on Rudy Role in Cop Brutality

A Vallone spokesman said that while the speaker supported "aggressive police tactics," their application in cases like Diallo were "a cause for concern." Faulting special police task forces like the Street Crime Unit, four of whose members fired 41 shots at Diallo, Vallone stressed a need for SCU training and oversight by precinct commanders. He said nonetheless that it "wasn't clear" if rising brutality complaints were, in any way, "due to Giuliani policies."

Schumer said Giuliani "has chosen to ignore thoughtful solutions" from his own task force and others, and called on the mayor to "reexamine this report and implement its viable proposals." He contended that there was "clearly increased tension" between the police department and "the communities it is supposed to protect," concluding that "the mayor has not been sensitive enough to this question."

Hevesi refused to answer any of the questions, pointing instead to his recent NY 1 appearance. He praised Giuliani during that interview for canceling his Texas trip, visiting the mosque, offering to pay the Diallo family's expenses, and attempting to visit the family, concluding: "I don't know what he did wrong." Ironically, Hevesi followed his Giuliani salute with the conclusion that "there can't be any justification" for the police attack on Diallo, precisely the kind of conclusion the mayor has refused to reach.

Hevesi: The Giuliani Democrat praises mayor, sidesteps cop questions.
Fred W. Mcdarrah
Hevesi: The Giuliani Democrat praises mayor, sidesteps cop questions.

The comptroller also toyed with New York magazine, claiming he was considering forcing the NYPD to pay for settlements of misconduct cases out of their own budget. He told the Times the same thing shortly after the Louima incident, but has done nothing about it in the intervening year and a half.

Silver spokeswoman Pat Lynch conceded he'd made no public statements on Diallo or Giuliani policies and wouldn't, adding that the assembly speaker had privately spoken to the mayor and was interested in "securing better sensitivity training" for cops. Lynch pointed to a package of bills introduced Monday by the Black, Puerto Rican, and Hispanic Caucus, ranging from a residency law to a repeal of the 48-hour rule, as possible remedies. She said it "does seem like more incidents are reported," adding "we aren't exactly a fan of Police Commissioner Howard Safir."

The most immediate test is whether Vallone or Silver, both of whose legislative conferences are filled with minority members, takes any actions on bills or budgets that can send the NYPD and its mayoral master a message.

Research: Coco McPherson, Soo-Min Oh, Ron Zapata

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