Beth Roy
41 Shots...and Counting

41 Shots...and Counting recounts the killing of Amadou Diallo in New York, in a hail of forty-one shots fired by four police officers.

Amadou Diallo was confronted on the steps of his apartment house in the Bronx late in a wintry night in 2000 as he returned from working in the city. He was a young immigrant from West Guinea. The four officers who shot him were all white men, most new recruits to a beefed up Street Crimes Unit, the product of the politics of crime fieled by Major Rudy Guiliani.

In the aftermath of the shooting, street demonstrations and other public cries of protest resulted in indictments against the officers. A year later, they were acquitted after a trial before a largely-white jury in Albany, where the trial had been shifted away from the charged atmosphere of New York City.

Diallo was a prototypic innocent. Accused of no crime, minding his own business, working hard to build a foothold in America, he came to symbolize the injustice of so many other shootings of young men of color by police personnel across America.

41 Shots...and Counting focuses on the killing itself, then steadily widens the analytic lens to encompass dynamics of policing, policy and politics. It tells a large story about race in America, entangled with hard issues of criminal justice and political injustice.
41 Shots...and Counting: What Amadou Diallo Teaches Us About Policing, Race, and Justice. Syracuse University Press, 2009
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