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The Diallo Case: A Timeline

On Feb. 4, 1999, four white plainclothes officers from the New York Police Department's Street Crime Unit were searching for a rapist. Instead, they encountered an unarmed West African immigrant named Amadou Diallo, 22.

A confrontation ended with 41 shots fired in front of Diallo's Bronx home. He was struck by 19 bullets and killed.

Here is a chronology of events related to that fatal shooting.

  • Feb. 5, 1999: Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton calls the shooting "a police slaughter." U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White says her office will investigate the case, along with the Bronx district attorney.
  • Feb. 16, 1999: Grand jury begins hearing evidence.
  • March 3, 1999: Thousands rally on Wall Street demanding that the four police officers be indicted.
  • March 9, 1999: Twelve people are charged with disorderly conduct for protesting outside Police Headquarters in the first of what will become nearly a month of rallies demanding the arrest of the officers. More than 1,200 people are eventually arrested, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Mayor David Dinkins, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, Rep. Charles Rangel and the actors Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Susan Sarandon.
  • March 26, 1999: Police Commissioner Howard Safir announces changes for the Street Crime Unit, including requiring the previously plainclothes unit to don uniforms. He says the changes are partly in response to concerns about the unit voiced by political and community leaders.
  • March 30, 1999: Hundreds of off-duty police officers rally in support of their four colleagues.
  • March 31, 1999: The four officers who shot Diallo are indicted for second-degree murder. Officers Kenneth Boss, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon and Richard Murphy have no visible reaction as they enter innocent pleas in state Supreme Court in the Bronx.
  • Dec. 16, 1999: A state appeals court rules the trial should be moved from the Bronx to Albany, citing pretrial publicity.
  • Jan. 25, 2000: State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi rules that Court TV can broadcast the trial live.
  • Jan. 31, 2000: Jury selection begins.
  • Feb. 1, 2000: Twelve jurors, four of whom are black, are seated. The forewoman is black, and once lived in the Bronx.
  • Feb. 2, 2000: Opening statements by the prosecution and defense are given as the trial of the four officers begins.
  • Feb. 17, 2000: Judge Teresi grants a prosecution request unopposed by the defense to allow jurors to consider second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide as alternatives in their deliberations.
  • Feb. 22, 2000: Prosecutors and defense attorneys rest their cases.
  • Feb. 25, 2000: All four officers are acquitted of all charges.
  • Jan. 31, 2001: Justice Department announces it will not press federal civil rights charges against the fficers.

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