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Amadou Bailo Diallo

Amadou Bailo Diallo (September 2, 1975 - February 4, 1999), a Guinean living in New York City, was killed by four white police officers in the New York City Police Department's Street Crime Unit.

Diallo had come to New York City to study computer science, but had not yet enrolled in school. He reportedly sold videotapes and socks on the street during the day and studied in the evenings.

He had gone out to eat and returned home early on the morning of February 4. While he was walking near his building, police officers Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, in plainclothes but wearing their NYPD shields, approached him for questioning. The officers claim to have ID'ed themselves, loudly, as NYPD officers, and that Diallo fit the description of a since-captured serial rapist. At their approach, Diallo ran up the outside steps toward his apartment house doorway, turned from the officers, and ignored their orders to stop and "show his hands." He then reached into his jacket, quickly coming out with his wallet. Mistaking the item he was holding for a firearm, Officer Carroll yelled "Gun!" to alert his colleagues. At nearly the same time, the officers opened fire. While backing away, Officer McMellon tripped and fell down the steps, leading the others to believe he had been shot. The four officers fired 41 shots, hitting Diallo 19 times. No weapons were found on his body.

On March 25 a Bronx grand jury indicted the officers on charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. On December 16 a New York appellate court ordered a change of venue to Albany, New York, stating that pretrial publicity had made a fair trial in New York City impossible. On February 25, 2000, after two days of deliberations, a jury acquitted the officers of all charges.

Table of contents
1 Aftermath
2 See Also
3 External links


Diallo's death, the change of venue, and the verdict each sparked massive demonstrations against police brutality and racial profiling, resulting in more than 1700 arrests. Charges against the protestors were later dropped. In 2001 the Justice Department announced that it would not charge the officers with having violated Diallo's civil rights.

On April 18, 2000, Diallo's parents filed an $81 million lawsuit against the City of New York and the officers, charging gross negligence, wrongful death, racial profiling, and other violations of Diallo's civil rights.

At a show in Atlanta, Georgia on June 4, 2000, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band debuted a protest song titled "American Skin / 41 Shots". Although the lyrics do not explicitly mention Diallo, they refer to 41 shots, confusing a wallet with a gun, and suspects being shot for reasons of race. Shortly thereafter, the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association called for a boycott of Springsteen's concerts in the city.

In April of 2002, the Street Crime Unit was disbanded.

In 2003, Amadou Diallo's mother Kadiatou published a memoir, My Heart Will Cross This Ocean: My Story, My Son, Amadou (ISBN 0345456009).

See Also

External links