28 February, 2006

Spitzer, Patterson No Longer At Odds on "Shoot-To-Wound" Issue

The list of policy differences between Democratic gubenatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer and his chosen candidate for lieutenant governor, Senate Minority Leader David Patterson, has gotten shorter.

After meeting today with the head of the state police chiefs association, Patterson announced he would no longer push a bill that would require police officers to use minimum force when subduing suspects. The bill would prohibit police officers from shooting suspects with the intent to kill.

Paterson authored the bill in reaction to the acquittals in 2000 of four police officers who shot and killed an unarmed West African immigrant, Amadou Diallo. The incident was touched off when one officer mistook a black wallet Diallo was carrying for a gun.

In a press release today Paterson said he has decided the bill may not be the right way to go.

"I think most people felt the police officers had acted inappropriately and I wanted try to ensure that such a tragedy would never happen again. While that is still my goal, I realize on reflection that this bill was not the best way to pursue it."

Spitzer has also made a no-new-taxes pledge while Paterson is known to favor higher taxes on people making more than $500,000 a year. In addition, the two differ on the death penalty - Spitzer for and Paterson against.

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