By SYLVIA WEINSTEIN
Supporters of 19-year-old Donta Dawson, shot by Philadelphia police officer Christopher DiPasquale, were stunned when a municipal judge freed the cop of all charges on Jan. 6.
The night he was killed, police found Dawson sitting in his car. As one officer reportedly reached into the car and turned off the ignition, DiPasquale shot Dawson fatally in the head. At DiPasquale’s trial, 11 police officers testified they had thought Dawson had a gun-yet no gun was ever found.
According to J. Whyatt Mondesire of the NAACP, the ruling “effectively cheapened the lives of every Black man in Philadelphia.”