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Shot down in a hail of 21 cop bullets

By Alan Wallis | October 24, 2003 | Page 2

A NEW York man was left clinging to life after police gunned him down in a hail of 21 bullets. The October 10 shooting, which recalled the NYPD's murder of African immigrant Amadou Diallo in 1999, took place during an attempted drug bust.

According to the police version of the story, an undercover officer had just given the victim $15 to buy crack cocaine, and was told to go around the corner to get it. When the officer refused to go, police say, the man appeared to reach for a gun.

The cop opened fire, emptying his gun with 11 shots, and his partner got off another. Two nearby uniformed cops heard the noise, and fired nine shots of their own. After the smoke cleared, however, police failed to find either drugs or weapons on the victim, or anywhere in the vicinity.

All or part of the shooting was recorded by security cameras at a nearby café, but the videotape was confiscated by the NYPD, a café employee told Socialist Worker--and never heard of again. The shooting victim was eventually taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, according to the New York Times, where he was said to be in danger of losing a leg.

But the Amsterdam News reported recently that the man remains unidentified--and rumors of his death are now circulating. He is one in a long list of victims of the trigger-happy New York police force.

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