By Beth Roy

While 4 big apple urban law enforcement officials killed Amadou Diallo in 1999, the 41 photographs they fired echoed loudly around the state. In demise, Diallo joined an extended checklist of younger males of colour killed by way of police fireplace in towns and cities all throughout the USA. via innuendos of criminal activity, lots of those sufferers may be discredited and, through implication, held accountable for their very own deaths. yet Diallo was once an blameless, a tender West African immigrant doing not anything extra suspicious than returning domestic to his Bronx condominium after operating tough all day within the urban. Protesters took to the streets, effectively hard that the 4 white officials be delivered to trial. whilst the officials have been acquitted, in spite of the fact that, horrified onlookers of all races and ethnicities despaired of justice. In forty-one photographs . . . and Counting, Beth Roy bargains an oral heritage of Diallo's demise. via interviews with contributors of the neighborhood, with cops and attorneys, with govt officers and moms of younger males in jeopardy, the publication lines the political and racial dynamics that put the officials outdoors Diallo's condominium that evening, their palms on symbolic in addition to genuine 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 pictures . . . and Counting permits the reader to think about the consequences of the Diallo case for our nationwide discourses on politics, race, type, 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)

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How do such policies reflect politics of the department and the city? What assumptions are imbedded in determinations of the appropriateness of potentially lethal force in the enforcement of law? In my interviews, I heard a number of critiques of the Diallo officers’ implementation of use-of-force policy as well as compelling discussions of the influence of mayoral politics on the incident. I will return to these discussions later, when I turn to the subject of policing and larger power dynamics.

News of the killing spread quickly, and protesters took to the streets. African American community leaders were joined in acts of civil disobedience by celebrities and a mass of citizens of all races, demanding that justice be done. The four officers were indicted and tried on six counts each. A year later, on February 25, 2000, they were acquitted of all charges. Protest gatherings, largely peaceful, continued outside Diallo’s building for many days.  The story of Diallo’s death echoes dozens of other tragedies in as many American cities.

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.

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