Approximately 400 protesters marched past the White House, Justice Department, and U.S. Capital on Monday to protest the February 4 shooting of Amadou Diallo by a New York City police officer.
Diallo, a recent immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea, was shot 19 times by four police officers while standing in the entrance of his apartment building. The police officers were searching for a rape suspect at the time and say that they believed Diallo was armed, an assumption that was later found to be untrue.
The protesters chanted “enough is enough” and charged that violence and use of excessive force against black citizens is a pervasive problem among police officers throughout the U.S. NAACP criminal justice committee chair Mark Thompson declared, “We want to see to it that an end is brought to this police violence against people of African-American ancestry.” Thompson and others demanded that federal laws be strengthened to better identify and punish police officers who have been found to mistreat citizens based on their race or ethnicity.
The Bronx district attorney’s office and U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White are both conducting investigations into the shooting. The FBI will assist White in her investigation. The accused officers have been placed on administrative duties pending these investigations.