Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Officers in Diallo Killing Were Involved in Beating That Night

StoryFebruary 16, 2000
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Testifying in his own defense against murder charges, New York police officer Kenneth Boss testified yesterday that he thought Amadou Diallo was crouched in a "combat stance" before he and three fellow police officers fired 41 bullets at the Guinean immigrant.

On Monday, another of the four police officers, Sean Carroll, said he mistakenly believed Diallo was wearing a bulletproof vest and kept firing at his legs.

Officer Richard Murphy, who also testified yesterday, did not speak of a crouch or combat stance but said he believed Diallo, standing in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building, had a gun in his right hand.

Boss and Murphy, who followed officers Carroll and Edward McMellon in giving their accounts publicly for the first time, were cross-examined for just 20 minutes each by prosecutor Donald Levin, who asked them almost identical questions. The four were part of the city’s notorious Street Crimes Unit, and face 25 years to life if convicted.

There were differences from Monday’s testimony. Unlike Carroll, who said he spotted Diallo "slinking" in and out of the vestibule, Boss described him as initially just "standing on a stoop."

Boss and Murphy both said they believed Diallo was armed, but on cross-examination said they did not see any "muzzle flashes," as Carroll described.

Today we have learned about what the officers were up to in the hours before they killed Diallo. At least one of them, McMellon, was identified as having participated in the beating and arrest of two young men in the Bronx. The men, Antoine and Maurice Washington, who were brothers, said they were assaulted by another Street Crimes Unit as they were walking home on the night of February 3–just hours before Diallo was killed. They recognized McMellon as one of the officers in a backup unit that restrained and roughed up the two men.


  • Jose Muiz, attorney for Maurice Washington.


  • Coverage of the Amadou Diallo murder trial, feed provided by Court TV.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation