On the Police Murder of Amadou Diallo


by Carl Dix

Revolutionary Worker #995, February 21, 1999

On February 4, the NYPD's aggressive street crimes unit gave us 41 more reasons to get rid of this system through revolution. 4 cops from this unit gunned down Amadou Diallo, a 22-year-old immigrant from West Africa, firing 41 bullets at him and hitting him 19 times. Brother Diallo was unarmed, carrying only his wallet and a beeper, and he was standing on the steps of his own home!

Amadou Diallo was an immigrant who came to this country with high hopes for the future. Faced with a society that refused to recognize his education and denied him a work permit, he slaved 12 hours a day as a vendor. He was generous to all who knew him. He played by the rules. Yet this system's armed enforcers shot him down like a dog, even worse than they would have done if he had been a dog. 4 cops who saw nothing but his Black skin stole his life.

The cops who carried out this atrocity must be arrested for murder. And there are other criminals at work here. The blood of Amadou Diallo is on the hands of Giuliani and NY pig chief Safir as much as if they had pulled the trigger themselves. They expanded the aggressive street crimes unit from 100 to 400 cops since 1996. They gave them the green light to brutalize and murder people in the name of "reducing crime." They created the atmosphere where these cops would claim that they "own the night." Giuliani has been a cheerleader for brutal murderers on the NYPD, and he can't dodge his responsibility for this and other atrocities by offering the Diallo family money for the funeral.

Giuliani says we shouldn't rush to judgement. What do we need to wait for? For them to try to put together some lies to justify this foul murder? Brother Diallo was unarmed, on his own steps and these cops shot him down! One of these cops was also involved in gunning down Patrick Bailey and leaving him to bleed to death. And there are many more victims of the police--Anthony Baez, Nicolas Heyward Jr., Anthony Rosario, Frankie Arzuaga, Charles Campbell, Yvette Kessler, Aníbal Carrasquillo, Aswan Watson and almost 200 more (that we know of) killed in cold blood by the NYPD--all during Giuliani's 5 years as mayor. Policing Giuliani style has meant turning our communities into prisons where they pen us in, beat us down, lock us up and even kill us off. And his police-state program is being promoted as a model for the rest of the country to follow.

It's not just New York City. An epidemic of police brutality and murder is strangling our communities nationwide. Just outside Los Angeles, cops gunned down Tyisha Miller while she slept in her disabled car. In Chicago's Cabrini Green housing project, cops murdered Brennan King with five bullets in the back. And I could go on and on. It's not just local police departments either. Clinton brags about how he's put 100,000 more cops on the streets. That's just more enforcers to brutalize and murder us. The federal government has also passed laws and implemented policies that are warehousing our youth in prisons across the country. And when federal DA's enter police brutality cases, it's usually just to get us to cool out.

This rotten capitalist system has made clear once again that it has no future for a whole generation of youth. We must fight to create a different future. This foul murder must be, and already is being, met with massive resistance. Added to the large numbers in the street must be a cutting edge of determined resistance that isn't bound by the limits of politics and protest as usual. They've made clear what they have in store for us. We must rise in resistance to this atrocity, and all the other atrocities, in ways that make clear to all that we aren't going to let this go down without a tremendous fight!

41 more reasons for revolution!

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