Section: CAPITAL REGION Page: B5 Date: Saturday, October 21, 2000
DIALLO TRIAL ACTIVIST CONVICTEDCAROL DeMARE Staff writer
Albany Activist Eugene Burt was convicted by a jury Friday of using a bullhorn at the Amadou Diallo trial last winter, the second time this year he has lost at trial. Burt, 39, was found guilty of second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum one year in jail. It's against the law to agitate within 200 feet of a courthouse and to talk about the trial in progress. Defense attorney Randall E. Kehoe said 99.9 percent of Burt's rhetoric was aimed at his dislike of Albany police. He only briefly mentioned the trial, since he was among New York City demonstrators calling for justice in the Diallo case. Diallo was killed in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building by New York City police, who claimed they thought he had a gun. The cops were acquitted of murder at the Albany trial. Burt said his Feb. 22 arrest amounted to selective enforcement since others had bullhorns and were not charged. He is free on $5,000 bail pending sentencing Nov. 10 by City Court Judge Stephen W. Herrick. ``It's been my anti-Semitic speech on the airwaves and on street corners that singled me out, not my police rhetoric,'' Burt said. Burt recently served a six-month sentence for using a bullhorn outside a religious service in 1999. He claimed he didn't know there was a service going on inside the church.