On February 4, 1999 four plain-clothes officers approached Amadou Diallo in front of his apartment because he fit the description of a known serial rapist. Diallo proceeded to run into the hallway of his dimly lit apartment. He pulled out his wallet which was mistaken for a gun and officers shot at him 41 times.
A grand jury acquitted officers Kenneth Boss, Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy and Edward McMellon of second degree murder citing that their actions were justifiable given the circumstances.
Three of the four officers are no longer with the NYPD but Boss who fired 5 of 19 shots that fatally wounded Diallo will be promoted to a sergeant’s position at the end of the week.
In an interview with NY Daily News, Diallo’s mother, Kadiatou Diallo shared her disappointment. “You have so many police officers out there who deserve to be promoted, and this man is being promoted? For doing what? Killing my son? I don’t have any hatred or revenge in my heart, but my life was changed forever that day. This is a stab in the heart.”
Reports indicate that once Boss passed the necessary Civil Service exam, his “promotion to sergeant was mandated by police policy and not subject to review by NYPD brass.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, who consulted the Diallo family in 1999 believes Boss, who’s now a 21-year veteran should have lost his job in following the shooting and definitely during the murder trial.
“I think it’s disgraceful and sends the wrong signal at a time when nationwide we are raising the question of police reform. This was one of the most obvious cases of police brutality,” said Sharpton.
The Civil Rights leader is planning a protest outside 1 Police Plaza.