NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department
Home Page
All Columns
Contact Leonard Levitt
Search this site
Printable versionSend to a friendEmail Leonard Levitt

Ferrer blames Rudy, Safir

April 29, 2005

His mayoral campaign jeopardized because of his remarks about Amadou Diallo, Fernando Ferrer sought to place them in a larger context, saying, "We all have to acknowledge the verdict of a jury. But this is not the same as saying the killing of Amadou Diallo, in his own apartment building, completely unarmed, was in any way justifiable or condonable."

In an interview with One Police Plaza, Ferrer said that his argument in the Diallo case was with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his style of policing.

"They put forward a lie, a false bargain, that the only way to have effective policing is by confrontation and racial profiling. ... That lie undermined the trust and confidence that New Yorkers should have in their police department."

The unarmed Diallo, an African immigrant, was shot 19 times by four Street Crime cops. The unit was expanded in an effort by Giuliani and former police commissioner Howard Safir to lower the city's crime rate. The four cops, who were improperly trained and rushed into the unit, were acquitted by a jury in Albany and never received a departmental trial.

When running for mayor in 2001, Ferrer was the only candidate who called for the four cops' dismissal. His candidacy has now tanked after he called Diallo's shooting a "tragedy, not a crime."

Asked what he would have said differently, Ferrer said, "I would have been more fulsome earlier in my response and left no doubt as to what I meant. I would have been completely explicit in first sentence ... so that my beliefs and my record could not be distorted."

He added on his comments: "I did not take the usual route of saying I was taken out of context. I take responsibility for them. I used the words - especially in such a highly emotional and passionate issue carelessly and I should have known better."

Official outrage. Lt. Eric Adams and retired sergeant Tony Miranda, perpetual thorns in the NYPD's not always thick hide, have both filed complaints against the police department's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne for calling them "dumb and dumber."


Browne unloaded after an Adams-Miranda news conference in which Adams, who heads a group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, and Miranda, who heads the often recalcitrant Latino Officers Association, said the department had a racist double standard in dealing with corrupt cops.

The two also cited the possibility of "corruption" in police commissioner Ray Kelly's having filed for a disability pension under the Heart Bill, which maintains that the heart problems of cops are job-related, when his first term as commissioner ended.

Adams said he has filed a complaint against Browne with the department's Equal Employment Opportunity office, charging Browne had created a hostile work environment at his precinct. Adams and Miranda also filed complaints against Browne with the Civilian Complaint Review Board for "discourtesy," Adams added

Kelly, meanwhile, may be a lot of things, but corrupt is not one of them. He filed for the heart bill on his final day of duty in January 1994, after a stress test detected an irregularity. He then retracted his application. He later suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery.

Dinner wasn't on the menu. As he promised, Kelly appeared at the Plaza last Monday night for the Finest Foundation's annual dinner. But he stayed only a nanosecond, telling organizers he had a meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Still, Kelly - who two years ago withdrew from the dinner after discovering that Finest organizers were charging $50,000 for a "commissioner's table," which, Kelly felt, implied that access to him could be purchased - had time to reprimand a low-level department civilian for attending the dinner. It is not known whether he issued the same reprimand to two other dinner guests, deputy commissioners Charlie DiRienzo and Garry McCarthy.

The search is on. Business as usual? Mayoral spokesman Bob Lawson says the Bloomberg administration is searching for a replacement for Mark Pomerantz, who is resigning as head of the Mayor's Commission to Combat Police Corruption, in part because the department has refused to cooperate.

Lawson refused to say who was conducting the search and whether anyone has been interviewed.

« Back to top

© 2005 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.