Once again the Rev. Al Sharpton was sharing the platform at the National Action Network with Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo. The outrage of the past was renewed last week when Kenneth Boss, one of the four officers who fired 41 bullets at Amadou Diallo, 19 of them killing him, had been promoted to sergeant.
“My heart was broken,” Diallo told the audience at NAN about when she heard the news. “He should not be entitled to do the same work.” She said her son, a native of Guinea and an aspiring entrepreneur, “never lived to realize his dream.”
She agreed with Sharpton’s demand that Commissioner Bill Bratton meet with her “out of respect and dignity.” He said the use of civil service law to promote Boss “was a slap in the face of Mrs. Diallo. We need to change that law.”
Boss and the other officers were acquitted in the shooting death of Diallo by a jury in Albany, N.Y. The defense claimed that the shooting was justified. Diallo was reaching for his wallet or the keys to his house when the officers approached him. He was a possible suspect, they contended.
Of the four, only Boss remained with the NYPD while two transferred to the FDNY and the other one left the force.
“Before he killed Amadou, he had killed two other children,” Diallo related. “My mission is to perpetuate my son’s memory and legacy. But it’s not just about my son; it’s about all of us. We need to be together.”
Among those joining Sharpton were the Rev. Michael Walrond Jr. of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem and Council Member Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn. Both promised to a stand with Diallo whenever a meeting occurs with Bratton. Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and Garner’s widow, Esaw, also shared the platform with Diallo.
State Sen. Bill Perkins told the AmNews, “This promotion reminds us that Black lives don’t matter to everyone.”