Amadou Diallo, NYPD

25 Years Past Amadou Diallo’s Death At Hands Of NYPD, His Mother Carries His Legacy

Feb. 4 marks 25 years since the tragic murder of Diallo.

Before George Floyd, before Eric Garner, before Sean Bell, before Rekia Boyd, before the Black Lives Matter movement, there was Amadou Diallo.

According to the History channel’s website, Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, was shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City policemen who allegedly believed Diallo was the suspect they had been tailing. All the officers were members of the controversial Street Crimes Unit, which was eventually shuttered after the policemen went on trial.

Feb. 4 marks 25 years since the tragic murder of Diallo. NYPD officers Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss, and Richard Murphy instructed Diallo to show his hands, and as he reached for his wallet, Carroll told his fellow officers that he had a gun, and they opened fire. The officers continued to fire after Diallo’s body hit the ground, riddling his body with 19 bullets. Diallo, who was 23 years old, died within minutes.

Despite the officers continually changing their stories on exactly who they thought Diallo was and the public outcry over his killing, an Albany, New York jury found them not guilty. Diallo’s father, Saikou Diallo, referred to the verdict as a “second killing” of his son, while David Dinkins, who was the mayor of New York City at the time, cautioned, “This [verdict] will send the wrong message to those members of the Street Crime Unit who walk around saying, ‘We own the night.’”

Following their wrongful death lawsuit against the city in 2004, Diallo’s family received a $3 million settlement. 

As People magazine reports, Kadiatou Diallo, Diallo’s mother, has remained an outspoken critic of law enforcement. Kadiatou spoke to PIX 11 following former policeman Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of Floyd. “There’s no time for celebration,” Kadiatou said. “There’s time for work. To put in the work that needed to be done, so we can stop seeing these cases time and time again.”

Working for justice is something she is familiar with: In 2001 she established a foundation in her son’s name. The Amadou Diallo Foundation seeks to honor his memory through the implementation of education programs aimed at identifying, nurturing, and supporting promising education students, particularly students of African descent who are going from high school to college. Kadiatou established the foundation based on the last words she remembers her son saying to her: “Mom, I’m going to college.” In 2019, she told NY1 that Amadou would have dedicated his life to helping people, saying, “If he was alive today, I know he would be a parent, he would be an entrepreneur, he would be helping people.”

RELATED CONTENT: Families Of Police Brutality Victims Plead With Eric Adams To Sign ‘How Many Stops Act’