From Mon Feb 28 11:20:45 2000
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 22:29:48 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Subject: CoC Statement on Diallo Verdict & call for action
Article: 90029
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Justice for Amadou Diallo!

A Statement of the Metro New York Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, adopted by membership vote 26 February 2000

The jury exoneration of the brutal murder of an young unarmed Black man in the vestibule of his own home by four white New York City policemen is license for murder. Every Black person—young Black men in particular—cannot but feel that they also are a potential target of police terror.

On a rainy Friday afternoon on February 25th, shock and disbelief of New Yorkers as they heard of the not guilty verdict was audible in workplaces, subways and neighborhoods everywhere. Can you believe it? Not guilty—that's justice in the USA! was a common reaction. Hundreds of people spontaneously gathered at the home of Amadou Diallo and marched to the police station in the Bronx neighborhood in angry protest. It was the latest of many mass demonstrations with tens of thousands of trade unionists, community and religious organizations demanding justice for over a year.

The message that the jury conveyed was clear—the New York City police policy of shoot first if in doubt was granted legal standing. If the target is a Black person at the hands of white police, homicide is justified. Guilty if Black! The fact remains that in the 21st century as in the 19th century, when it comes to murders of Black people by police, Black people have no rights that whites are bound to respect.

The people of New York have every right to question the jury decision. How many juries have exonerated racist whites who were tried for the murder of Blacks? The change of venue for the jury played an important role in engineering the verdict. Newspapers commented on the pro-police sentiment in Albany, an atmosphere that could not help but be persuasive within the small Black community there.

Mayor Guiliani responded with predictable malice. The jury verdict, he said, proves that the police are the real victim. He also said that one of the greatest tragedies of this is that Amadou Diallo was an immigrant. Following this logic, it is then ok to kill if the victim is a native born African American.

The 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement's response to the verdict was an important voice within the NYPD itself. Spokesperson Eric Adams said that the verdict shows that as long as white police officers imagine that a Black person is guilty, it is reason enough to kill. No Black person can feel safe using a cell phone or beeper or eating a candy bar, he said.

At this defining moment for unity, the New York Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism calls upon all democratic minded people of New York to make your voice of protest heard by doing the following: