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Amadou Diallo/NYPD Trial: 2000

Textbook Policing

The last defense witness, Dr. James Fyfe, an expert in police training, testified that the officers had practiced textbook policing that night. The prosecution decided not to cross-examine him and to not put on a rebuttal case. Both sides rested.

After his four-hour charge and before deliberations began, Judge Teresi dismissed one juror for discussing the case out of court. The panel was now one white and four black women, and seven white men. After deliberating for three days, the jury decided the policemen had reasonably thought Diallo was armed and had fired in self-defense. It found them not guilty of second-degree murder.

Judge Teresi's charge had made it clear the jury could also consider convicting the defendants on several lower charges, such as manslaughter. The jury deliberated on the alternate charge but decided that the evidence did not support a guilty verdict on any criminal charges. Following the verdict, Diallo's family announced it would file a wrongful-death civil suit against the four officers and the city of New York.

Bernard Ryan, Jr.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Donner, Frank. Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1990.

Grossman, Lieutenant Colonel Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1996.

Lowry, Richard. "Protest Too Much." National Review (April 19, 1999): 10.

Morales, Frank. "The Militarization of the Police." CovertAction Quarterly (Spring-Summer 1999): 15.

Ruchelman, Leonard. Who Rules the Police? New York: New York University Press, 1973.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentAmadou Diallo/NYPD Trial: 2000 - Unarmed And Law Abiding, "every Police Officer's Nightmare", "gun! He's Got A Gun!"