It has been nearly 17 years since the February 4, 1999 shooting death of West African immigrant Amadou Diallo at the hands of four white NYPD officers in the Bronx. The incident caught the attention of the entire nation due to the level of violence involved, with 41 shots being fired between the four police, 19 of which tearing through Diallo’s body. After being approached by police, the 22-year-old victim reached for his wallet, which was mistaken for him reaching for a gun.
All of the officers were later acquitted of murder charges. Today, one of the police involved in the slaying, Officer Kenneth Boss is set to be promoted to sergeant after passing the civil service exam in order to attain the higher ranking.
The victim’s mother, Kadiatou Diallo spoke out against the promotion.
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.
Rev. Al Sharpton, whom also served as an advisor for the Diallo family spoke out.
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.
Of the four officers involved in the shooting, Sean Carroll retired from the NYPD in 2005, while fellow co-defendants Edward McMellon and Richard Murphy opted to join the FDNY. Kenneth Boss fought to keep his position with the police department, though he was relegated to desk duty and worked without a weapon until 2012. He is currently working with the NYPD’s aviation unit.
Boss’ attorney, Edward Hayes, gave a statement to the New York Daily News on his clients behalf.
Anybody who elects to serve as a Marine combat infantryman in Iraq or in the most dangerous unit in the NYPD can talk. Otherwise, people should shut up and sit down.
Rev. Al Sharpton is planning to protest outside of 1 Police Plaza in New York City today in opposition to the promotion of Boss.