Sherly Colon, 33

New York, New York
April 24, 1997

Agencies: New York Police Department NYPD

Cause of death: Not Yet Known

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Last updated: over 3 years ago


A day after the police said a woman jumped 18 stories to her death in East Harlem, several hundred people gathered for a protest yesterday, saying that they did not believe the death was a suicide.

Despite accounts by the police that the woman jumped with a suicide note in her pocket, the protesters said they believed the woman had been pushed off the roof of a building at the Clinton Houses on Thursday.

Witnesses said the woman was wearing handcuffs when she fell. But Police Commissioner Howard Safir said yesterday that the woman, Shirley Colon, 33, was not in police custody at the time and that the woman's death had been ruled a suicide. A Medical Examiner's report, the police said, showed there was no evidence that Ms. Colon was wearing handcuffs.

''To the best of our knowledge, she was not in our custody,'' Commissioner Safir said yesterday. ''There is no indication that she was, in fact, ever in our custody or handcuffed. There is no evidence that, unfortunately, she did anything but commit suicide.''

Still, more than 200 protesters gathered to march from the Clinton Houses on Lexington Avenue and 110th Street to the 23d Precinct at 102d Street and Third Avenue. The march was peaceful except for a brief verbal confrontation between the protesters and a police officer in front of the precinct station house.

The officer, who witnesses said was agitating the crowd with cold stares and derogatory comments, was escorted away by a sergeant.

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