feature: the new york times profiles the most notable fatal police encounters in new york city since 1990

December 30, 1999

The New York Times has profiled some of the most notable fatal police encounters in New York City since 1990. A piece which clearly shows that young black men are being continually ‘demonized’ in the United States – Darren Wilson himself referred to Mike Brown as looking like a demon (two words, race and stereotype). These black men that are being killed by our trained civil servants are not thugs or demons, they are sons, brothers, uncles, cousins, fathers.  Take a look at some of the notable cases, below; and check out the full piece HERE.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

Nicholas Heyward Jr.

Sept. 27, 1994

Nicholas, 13, was playing cops and robbers with friends in a Gowanus Houses building stairwell when Officer Brian George, mistaking the teenager’s toy rifle for a real gun, shot him to death.

What happened: The Brooklyn district attorney decided not to present the case to a grand jury, saying the real culprit was an authentic-looking toy gun.

Amadou Diallo 

Feb. 4, 1999

Mr. Diallo, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was killed by four officers who fired 41 times in the vestibule of his apartment building in the Bronx. They said he seemed to have a gun, but he was unarmed.

What happened: In February 2000, after a tense and racially charged trial, all four officers, who were white,were acquitted of second-degree murder and other charges, fueling protests.

The city agreed to pay the family $3 million.

Sean Bell

Nov. 25, 2006

Five detectives fired 50 times into a car occupied by Mr. Bell, 23, and two others after a confrontation outside a Queens club on Mr. Bell’s wedding day. He was killed.

What happened: After a heated seven-week nonjury trial in 2008, the judge found Detectives Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper not guilty of all charges, which included manslaughter and assault.

In 2012, Detective Isnora was fired, and Detectives Cooper and Oliver, along with a supervisor, were forced to resign.