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Amadou Diallo Essay

766 words - 3 pages

On September 2, 1975 in the village of Sinoe, Liberia, West Africa Amadou Diallo was born. Growing up he loved reading, listening to music, dancing and sports. Amadou had a passion for school and attended some of the finest schools in the world, including The French International School, London's Cambridge University, The British Consulate College in Thailand and the Asian Institute of Microsoft. He hoped to enroll in a school in the United States one day. When he moved to New York he was a delivery man, but later became a street peddler selling gloves, socks, and video tapes in Manhattan on fourteenth street. He worked six days a week twelve hours a day. Diallo and his half brothers hoped one day to open up a shop selling silver and gold in New York. Plans for his future were cut short on the night of February 4, 1999.While returning to his apartment at 12:45 an unmarked car pulled up and four plain clothes policemen got out to approach Diallo. The police attempted to question Diallo, who they said declined to respond to their inquires and then reached into his back pocket. One of the officers saw and object and thought it was a gun. Feeling that their lives were in danger they began to firing there weapons. In all, forty-one shots were discharged. Nineteen of those bullets hit Diallo, causing him to collapse against the door of his building. He died instantly, there was no weapon found at the scene the object was found out to be Diallo's wallet.The shooting set off a firestorm of protest in New York City. Critics expressed that the police had acted without restraint and with insufficient concern for the life of a poor black street merchant. Police defended their methods as necessary and proper in the fight against crime. New York's mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, became the focus of a massive civil rights campaign designed to highlight the issues of police brutality. Everyone began choosing sides. Black leaders staged a three week protest outside City Hall. Many were arrested including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, former New York mayor David Dinkins, and actress Susan Sarandon. Rev Al Sharpton stepped up as a leader of the protesters, and began a heated debate with the mayor.The four police officers Sean Carroll, Edward McMellan, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy all shot at...

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