vendredi 30 décembre 2011

Haitian-Americans plan march to funeral of Herve Gilles, shot by cop

SPRING VALLEY — Members of the Haitian-American community will gather at the site where a village man was fatally shot this month by a police officer and will march in procession to the church where his funeral will be held Saturday morning.

Supporters of Herve Gilles will meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of Mount Zion Sanctuary Church, at East Furman Place and Franklin Street, said New York City lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, a former Rockland County legislator who is representing the Gilles family.
They will leave the parking lot at 9 a.m. and proceed about a half-mile north on Main Street to the French Baptist Church at 80 N. Madison Ave., where the funeral will be held at 10 a.m.
Rubenstein will read a statement to the community on behalf of his former client Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was assaulted by New York City police officers in 1997.
A viewing will be held at 8 a.m., and burial will follow the funeral at Brick Church Cemetery in New Hempstead.
Gilles was fatally shot by an officer Dec. 14 after police were called to a downtown bar early that morning to investigate a report of an emotionally disturbed man who was threatening to throw rocks.
An officer encountered Gilles soon after in a parking lot near the train station.
The officer and Gilles fought, and Gilles apparently grabbed the officer’s nightstick.
The officer shot Gilles twice, once in the head and once in the torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 48-year-old Spring Valley man had been described as mentally ill and sometimes loud, but not dangerous.
An initial investigation ruled that the shooting was justified.
The District Attorney’s Office will investigate the shooting and put all witnesses and evidence before a grand jury.
Grand jury investigations in six previous shootings in recent years found that the officers’ actions in those cases were justified and in self-defense.
The shooting brought an outpouring of support for him and his family.
Five hundred people, many from the village’s Haitian-American community, demonstrated a few days after his death at the Municipal Plaza train station, where the shooting occurred on the parking lot of the El Buen Gusto bar and restaurant.

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