Blogs > Liberty and Power > Augusto Giuliani

Jun 22, 2007 5:39 pm

Augusto Giuliani

Michael I. Niman on Rudy:"Giuliani’s disdain for freedom of speech is best exemplified by the case of Robert Lederman, an artist who specializes in drawing caricatures of Giuliani as a dictator and depicting his policies as transforming New York into a police state. Lederman was arrested 40 times during Giuliani’s reign for displaying his art at political demonstrations and on the streets of New York. Lederman was never convicted of a crime. . . .

"Under [Rudy's Zero Tolerance] policy, New Yorkers were handcuffed and dragged off to jail for drinking beer on their front stoops —the New York City equivalent of hanging out on the porch. Marijuana possession arrests increased by well over 4,000 percent. Eventually almost 70,000 people sued the city for police abuses such as strip-searching suspected jaywalkers. In 1999, James Savage, the president of the New York City police union, referred to Giuliani’s zero tolerance policy as a “blueprint for a police state and tyranny.' . . .

"Fashion-wise, [Rudy's Street Crimes Unit] had more resemblance to Guatemala’s notorious military death squads, wearing 'We Own the Night' t-shirts, and shirts citing Ernest Hemingway’s 'There is no hunting like the hunting of man” quote—quite a variation from standard issue uniforms.

"This is the police unit that became notorious for shooting African immigrant Amadou Diallo 40 times as he reached for his wallet after being ordered to show identification. When New Yorkers took to the streets to protest the shooting, Giuliani told the press that people were protesting due to 'their own personal inadequacies.'

"Eventually the Giuliani-sanctioned machismo infected other units in the police department. When undercover officers asked a man on the street to sell them marijuana, the man, Patrick Dorismond, took offense to being called a drug-dealer and got into a scuffle with the unidentified officers, who shot him dead. Giuliani issued a knee-jerk defense of the killers, telling the press that Dorismond was 'no altar boy.' pointed out that, in fact, he was an altar boy."

Thanks to Scott Horton.

comments powered by Disqus