FEBRUARY 4, 1999 - New York, New York
Amadou Bailo Diallo was a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed in NewYork City on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Ave in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.In the early morning of February 4, 1999, Diallo was standing near his building after returning from a meal. Police officers Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy passed by in a Ford Taurus. Observing that Diallo matched the description of a since-captured well-armed serial rapist involved in the rape or attempted rape of 51 victims, they approached him. The officers were in plain clothes.The officers claimed they loudly identified themselves as NYPD officers and that Diallo ran up the outside steps toward his apartment house doorway at their approach, ignoring their orders to stop and “show his hands”. The porch lightbulb was out and Diallo was backlit by the inside vestibule light, showing only a silhouette. Diallo then reached into his jacket and withdrew his wallet. Seeing the suspect holding a small square object, Carroll yelled “Gun!” to alert his colleagues. Mistakenly believing Diallo had aimed a gun at them at close range, the officers opened fire on Diallo. During the shooting, lead officer McMellon tripped backward off the front stairs, causing the other officers to believe he had been shot. The four officers fired 41 shots, more than half of which went astray as Diallo was hit 19 times. The post-shooting investigation found no weapons on Diallo’s body. The internal NYPD investigation ruled the officers had acted within policy.