Amadou Diallo

May. 20, 2020

In this site blog post, I want to discuss the injustice case of "Amadou Diallo" An African American, age 22. Amadou was unfairly shot 41 times by four NY police officers in the Bronx who were incredibly acquitted by heedless jurors. Who was Amadou Diallo? He was born in Liberia on September 2, 1975. He is the oldest one out of four children born to parents: Saikou and Kadijatou Diallo. Amadou's family was part of a historic Fulbe trading family in Guinea. He attended schools in both Thailand and Guinea. Amadou came to New York City where other family members had immigrated from. He and his cousin had begun a business in New York. Amadou worked as a street peddler, selling video cassettes, gloves, and socks from the sidewalk along 14th Street during the day. Unfortunately, Amadou sought to remain in the United States by filing an application for political asylum under pretenses, saying that he was from Mauritania and that his parents had been killed in fighting to buttress his claim that he had a credible fear of going back to his country. It all began during the midnight early hours of February 4, 1999, Amadou was standing near his Bronx building after returning from a meal minding his own business. Then at about 12:40 a.m., four police officers who WERE NOT dressed up in Police Uniforms but instead in Casual Clothing Wear, passed by in a Ford Taurus Auto. They also claimed that they loudly identified themselves as NYPD officers to Amadou. But, hm! How was Amadou to know these were cops if they were NOT Wearing Police Uniforms? Amadou could have just seen them as Strangers in the night trying to Rob or Hurt him. They justified themselves by Alleging that Amadou had matched the description of a serial rapist who had struck the year earlier. A frightened Amadou then ran up the outside steps toward his apartment house doorway as he saw them approaching him. To Amadou's bad luck, the front porch light bulb was out and Amadou was backlit by the inside vestibule light, therefore showing only a silhouette. Amadou then reached into his jacket and withdrew his wallet most likely to show some identification. One of the police officers claimed that seeing Amadou holding a small square object, he yelled out: "Gun!" to alert the other three officers. A NEARBY EYE WITNESS, Testified that All Four Police Officers started shooting WITHOUT ANY WARNINGS to Amadou. The four officers then proceeded to open fire on Amadou, claiming that they believed he was holding a gun. During the shooting, the lead officer claimed that had tripped backward off the front stairs, causing the other officers to believe he had been shot. The four officers then fired not 5, 10, 20, 30, but 41 shots instead, with their semi-automatic weapons (Please note that a standard magazine gun is just about ten rounds with spares quite common) Yes! more than half of which went hitting Amadou 19 times. Hm! Why did all four police officers feel that they have to empty their bullets on Amadou?. The four police officers were part of the defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder. Then On February 25, 2000, after just two days of deliberation, a jury in Albany New York, unexpectedly and shockingly acquitted the officers of all charges. So, Where is the Justice here? Amadou was unarmed, this was the main reason why a firestorm of controversy erupted after the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within New York City and outside. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy. The post-shooting investigation found no weapons on Amadou's body, the item he had pulled out of his jacket was NOT A GUN, but a rectangular BLACK WALLET instead. Incredibly, the internal NYPD investigation ruled the officers had acted within policy, which according to them was based on what a reasonable police officer would have done in the same circumstances with the information they had. The Amadou shooting led to a review of police training policy and the use of full metal jacket bullets. On March 25, 1999, a Bronx grand jury indicted the four officers on charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. All four officers' bail was set to $100,000. Then on December 16, an appellate court ordered a change of venue to Albany, New York, instead stating that pretrial publicity had made a fair trial in New York City impossible. One of the police officers had been previously involved in an incident where an unarmed black man was shot, a 22-year-old young man died after the officer shot him on October 31, 1997. I guess he thought that since he got away with it the first time, he can get away with it again, and he did. As of 2012, that same officer is the only remaining officer working for the NYPD. After his acquittal, he was disarmed and reassigned to desk duty. In October 2012, The Commissioner then restored the officer's ability to carry a firearm against the protests of Amadou's family. On December 17, 2015, he amazingly received a promotion to the rank of sergeant despite objections from Amadou's mother and civil rights activists. The officer was later promoted per police policy. On April 18, 2000, Amadou's mother and father filed a US $20m plus $1m for each shot-fired lawsuit against the city and the officers, charging gross negligence, wrongful death, racial profiling, and other violations of Amadou's civil rights. In March 2004, they accepted a US $3,000,000 settlement. In April 2002, as a result of the killing of Amadou and other controversial actions, thankfully the defunct Street Crimes Unit was disbanded. In 2003, With the help of author Craig Wolff, Amadou's mother published a memoir named: "My Heart Will Cross This Ocean, My Story, My Son, Amadou." In 2005 Amadou's tragic death became an issue in the mayoral election in New York City. Bronx borough president and mayoral candidate Mr. Fernando Ferrer, who had protested the circumstances of the killing at the time, later told a meeting of police sergeants that although the shooting had certainly been a tragedy, there was subsequently a move to over indict the four officers involved, which led to criticism of Mr. Fernando Ferrer by Amadou's family and many others following the case. The case itself spurred subsequent social psychology research. Several experiments had been conducted with both undergraduate volunteers and police officers playing a computer game where they must choose whether to shoot or not to shoot a target who may be white or black, based on whether or not they are armed. Such studies find that participants made slower and less accurate decisions on whether to shoot an unarmed black target than an unarmed white target and were quicker and more likely to correctly decide to shoot an armed black target than an armed white target. The authors of one study wrote that the shooting studies did provide powerful evidence that racial stereotypes create associations and expectations that play a role in the sort of split-second decisions that may be a matter of life or death. Amadou Diallo was buried in the village of Hollande Bourou in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea, West Africa, where his extended family resides. Author Malcolm Gladwell devoted the sixth chapter of his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking to the Amadou Diallo shooting. The author had spent more than a year interviewing cognitive psychologists, trying to understand how the psychology of a police officer's instant response to an object in an innocent black person's hand might differ from his/her response to an object in a white person's hand. Amadou's character has appeared as shown in fiction, films, television, and even in visual arts. It was after watching Netflix's Trial By Media (41 Shots) that I decided to create a new villain named "Amadou" featured as a new character villain in my 2021 secondary future book titled: "The Return Of The NY Villains For Justice." Why? because I don't want the great misjustice done to Amadou Diallo to ever be forgotten. I must confess that as I watched Netflix Trial By Media (41 Shots) I felt a Strong Revulsion at what I was seeing, this was mainly because there was "NO JUSTICE" for Amadou. Based on study and research on this case, this was no doubt a Colored Racial Profiling. I'm sorry but I got to ask: Were these four police officer's even tested for both sobriety and drugs test? I mean honestly, What were they thinking? How do four police officers manage to empty their whole guns on a person? What is it that justified such a violent act on someone of color? Would it have made a difference if Amadou was White? I strongly believe so. What if it would have been the other way around? What If the police officers were African Americans who shot at an unarmed young white man? No doubt to me they are found guilty by jurors. Do you know what I found most unnerving and shameful of the whole case? It was that one African American woman juror who stated after the trial that the prosecution didn't provide enough evidence, it was all circumstantial. I mean lady? Did the four police officers not ADMIT to the shooting themselves? How much MORE BULLETS were necessary to enter into Amadou to have PROOF? What about the EYEWITNESSES who TESTIFIED for the prosecution that the four police officer's NEVER identified themselves as police officers to Amadou? This was such a slap in the face to her race, my gosh! shame on her. What that juror was saying, in other words, is that Amadou's life didn't matter and that he caused his death just by standing outside his residence, therefore the four officers were justified in shooting him 41 times. How are we to put an end to racism from law enforcement with heedless jurors like this? It is because jurors like this that give police officers free passes to continue doing what they are doing. And because of things jurors like this, nothing has changed. Based on history research, nothing has changed. The fact remains that even until this very day, African Americans are still getting shot at or killed by white law enforcement. As for the four police officers, their ONLY CARD in the trial was to ACT out of remorse and cry even if it were necessary to do so. Oh please! Come on? Who the hell did they kid other than the clueless jurors? If this HAD happened to any of those JUROR's CHILDREN, I bet my life they would have seen things much different. But once again the Justice system has wrongly failed like so many other times. And people still wonder why people take the law into their own hands. This is why I write stories of true injustice cases because there are so many of them out there. Sad to say but sometimes being in a fictional world of lives, ranks, and power is the present real world we so, unfortunately, live in. My condolences to Amadou's Family. I am sorry that the Judicial System failed their innocent son the way it did. This was a huge failure on their part. God Bless Amadou's family, especially his mother for her great strength and the courage to educate others on sensitive and important subjects such as this one.