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Outrage Grows: NYC Police Killing Spree

by staff |
March 28, 2000
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photo of a New York demonstration protesting verdict in Diallo case
New York demonstration slams verdict in Diallo case. The cops who shot Diallo 41 times were found "not guilty." (Fight Back! News/Zeno Wood)

 

New York, NY - On February 25, people were outraged at the verdict of "not guilty" in the case of the four undercover police officers who shot and killed an unarmed African man. Four cops fired 41 bullets, hitting Amadou Diallo 19 times. They were acquitted.

The day after the verdict, 95 protesters were arrested in a huge, militant demonstration that the police were unable to control or disperse. Some people held their wallets in the air, yelling, "This is not a gun," referring to testimony by the four white cops. The cops said they shot Diallo, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guinea, because they mistook a wallet he held for a gun.

Moving the trial out of the Bronx, and up to Albany, set the stage for the verdict. The Bronx is made up mainly of oppressed nationalities, while Albany is mainly white. The cops, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss, and Richard Murphy are all white. The powers that be did not want them tried in New York City, where there is a broad understanding that the police are an army of occupation in the communities of color.

More Killings

In the month since the verdict was announced, undercover cops, who didn't identify themselves before shooting, murdered two more unarmed Black men. Just days after Malcolm Ferguson was arrested for demonstrating against the Diallo verdict, he was shot and killed in the hallway of his building, two blocks from where Diallo was shot.

On March 16, Patrick Dorismond got off his security guard job. As he was hailing a cab, an undercover officer approached him and asked to buy drugs. Police then killed him.

In both cases, mayor Rudolph Giuliani appealed to the public to reserve judgment until all the facts were known, then he immediately tried to throw dirt on the reputations of victims. He gave out information from a sealed juvenile file that Dorismond had from when he was 13 years old. Giuliani did not call attention to the cop's past record, which included domestic abuse and of threatening bar patrons with his gun while off-duty.

Thousands turned out for the funeral of Patrick Dorismond on March 26. At least 27 mourners were arrested in clashes with police.

 

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