Amadou Diallo killed by police


Plainclothes officers of the New York Police Department’s Street Crime Unit fire 41 shots at unarmed Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, killing him on the steps of his apartment building shortly after midnight on February 4, 1999. Diallo’s killing sparked a public outcry and eventually resulted in the shuttering of the SCU, but the four officers who shot him were found not guilty of his murder.

Officers Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy were all members of the SCU, a special plainclothes unit of the NYPD that had earned plaudits from others in law enforcement. At the time of the shooting, the SCU was already involved in controversy: in January, two SCU officers had fired eight shots at Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones of the Wu Tang Clan, falsely accusing him of having fired at them when it was later revealed he had been holding a cell phone, not a gun. 


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