41 Shots . . . and Counting: What Amadou Diallo's Story by Beth Roy

By Beth Roy

While 4 big apple urban cops killed Amadou Diallo in 1999, the 41 photographs they fired echoed loudly around the country. In loss of life, Diallo joined an extended record of younger males of colour killed by way of police hearth in towns and cities all throughout the USA. via innuendos of illegal activity, a lot of those sufferers will be discredited and, through implication, held chargeable 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 residence after operating challenging all day within the urban. Protesters took to the streets, effectively difficult that the 4 white officials be delivered to trial. while the officials have been acquitted, although, horrified onlookers of all races and ethnicities despaired of justice. In forty-one pictures . . . and Counting, Beth Roy deals an oral historical past of Diallo's dying. via interviews with participants of the neighborhood, with law enforcement officials and legal professionals, with executive officers and moms of younger males in jeopardy, the publication lines the political and racial dynamics that positioned the officials outdoors Diallo's condo 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 photographs . . . and Counting permits the reader to contemplate the results of the Diallo case for our nationwide discourses on politics, race, classification, 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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Police internal affairs investigations are secretive; the public is not invited into the process, ostensibly because they are judging personnel matters, but also because they are so often highly political. The aggrieved community is likely to be largely alienated from law enforcement as an organization, so people greet even a degree of disclosure of internal affairs processes with skepticism. Meanwhile, other civil organizations may conduct their own investigations. Human rights groups issue excellent reports on the problem of police force nationally.

Each interview approaches the subject from a particular vantage point. Framed together, they sketch a landscape of police and community relations. It is a picture distorted by frustration, lacking perspective; in one and the same breath people offer tired solutions and sigh their pessimism about the prospects for even those changes. Behind the practical discussions in the foreground, the perceptive viewer can glimpse a dimly realized background, a hazily sketched distance consisting of undelineated themes, such as the reasons why men continue to be socialized for violence, why women fall effectively silent in the face of human tragedy.

As we talked in his office, he articulated the critical question: It was wrong for the officers to fire the gun. When I say wrong, I mean, it was really not justified in a layman’s kind of thinking. All right? ”—was it reasonable for him to believe that the black wallet in [Diallo’s] hand was suggestive of a gun and that they misread the scene? Like a play within the drama he was describing, John jumped up from his desk chair and as he spoke repeated for me the courtroom performance he believed most swayed the jury.

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