By Beth Roy
While 4 long island urban cops killed Amadou Diallo in 1999, the 41 pictures they fired echoed loudly around the kingdom. In dying, Diallo joined a protracted record of younger males of colour killed by means of police hearth in towns and cities all throughout the United States. via innuendos of illegal activity, lots of those sufferers will be discredited and, via implication, held answerable for their very own deaths. yet Diallo used to be an blameless, a tender West African immigrant doing not anything extra suspicious than returning domestic to his Bronx condominium after operating not easy all day within the urban. Protesters took to the streets, effectively tough that the 4 white officials be delivered to trial. while the officials have been acquitted, besides the fact that, horrified onlookers of all races and ethnicities despaired of justice. In forty-one photographs . . . and Counting, Beth Roy deals an oral historical past of Diallo's loss of life. via interviews with individuals of the group, with cops and attorneys, with govt officers and moms of younger males in jeopardy, the e-book lines the political and racial dynamics that put the officials outdoor Diallo's apartment that evening, their arms on symbolic in addition to real triggers. With lucid research, Roy explores occasions within the court, in urban corridor, within the streets, and within the police precinct, revealing the interlacing clash dynamics. forty-one photographs . . . and Counting permits the reader to think about the consequences of the Diallo case for our nationwide discourses on politics, race, classification, crime, and social justice.
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Extra info for 41 Shots . . . and Counting: What Amadou Diallo's Story Teaches Us About Policing, Race, and Justice (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution)
But in arguing that Sean Carroll’s confusion of a wallet for a gun was believable and unavoidable, by mimicking a gesture he had not himself seen, John introduced into the courtroom a portrayal of Diallo that contrasted dramatically with the wholesomeness and emotional frailty expressed by the officers. Their misunderstanding became understandable; something “suggestive” became a reality in the minds and trigger fingers of the police officers. Diallo’s “devastation,” Defining the Question: In the Courtroom 31 in John Patten’s account, was not the victim’s alone; it was shared by the officers.
But for the nonlegal public, for the average person seeing soundbites from the trial on the evening news or reading digested stories in the morning paper, the questions under consideration were wider and deeper than the judge would have it; they were precisely about other issues—race, violence, immigration, youth, the inner city—and other institutions, especially the police. Just as Diallo was transformed from a flesh-and-blood man into a national symbol at the moment the forty-one shots were fired, so too were the four police officers now both more and less than human individuals.
Facts beyond dispute are these: all four officers are white and, at the time of the shooting, in their twenties or thirties. None had belonged to the NYPD for longer than seven years, nor to the Street Crime Unit for longer than two years. ” AP/Wide World Photos. the Police Academy about the same time as the others. Both Ed McMellon and Richard Murphy started working with the SCU within four months of the shooting, Kenneth Boss sometime the year before. Boss was involved in another fatal shooting; he was cleared of wrongdoing and prevailed in a civil suit brought against him by the victim’s family.
41 Shots . . . and Counting: What Amadou Diallo's Story Teaches Us About Policing, Race, and Justice (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution) by Beth Roy