African Immigrant Shot At 41 Times
By NY Police,
Buried In West Africa
[More on Amadou Diallo]
The unarmed African immigrant who was fatally shot at 41 times by White police officers in New York was recently laid to rest during services in his homeland in Guinea, West Africa.
The killing of Amadou "Ahmed" Diallo, a 22-year-old street vendor, sparked national outrage from civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, who spearheaded a rally in Bronx, NY, where the immigrant lived, to the NAACP who called for an investigation by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (JET, Feb. 22).
Famed attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. met with Sharpton in New York and said he would represent Diallo's parents and promised to "be relentless in the pursuit of justice."
Cochran said at a Harlem, NY, rally after the funeral services were held in Guinea: "The issue of police excessive force ... is the issue that galvanizes our community like no other. The police are not above the law. This idea that we can look the other way and say it was a terrible mistake is wrong. There's been too many mistakes."
Sharpton traveled with Diallo's parents, Saikou and Kadiadou Diallo, from New York to Guinea for the funeral.
Scores of Guinean men jostled to carry the simple pine coffin of Diallo before he was placed in the ground next to his grandfather in Hollande Bourou, about 200 miles from the capital of Conkary.
The burial followed a solemn nine-hour entourage through lush countryside on unpaved roads by family members, Rev. Sharpton and African government officials.
The burial ceremony drew several thousand people dressed in long colorful robes who came from nearby towns and villages.
Sharpton vowed to return to the Guinean village again after the police who shot Diallo, "have faced justice."
Sharpton said, "I came to say to the men of the village that we in America pledge to fight for justice for Amadou and we will not rest until those guilty have faced justice."
Diallo was described by those who knew him as a shy and religious man who earned a living selling videotapes on a New York street. He was unarmed when he was shot in the vestibule of the building where he lived.
"This village will always remember my son," said Diallo's father, Saikou Diallo. "He has brought a message of forgiveness and has joined the hearts of Guineans to the hearts of Americans."
Upon his return to New York Sharpton told reporters: "We are absolutely offended that this young man was laid to rest while the police officers are yet to be charged, yet to be arrested."
The four officers, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, were placed on desk duty pending investigation, according to news reports.
- Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, And an Unarmed Man Is Killed - New York Times 5feb1999
- A Hard Worker With a Gentle Smile - New York Times 5feb1999
- 3 of the Officers Were Involved in Shootings in the Last 2 Years - New York Times 5feb1999