New York City will pay $3 million to the family of Amadou Diallo to resolve a wrongful death suit filed after the African peddler was killed in 1999 by undercover cops in a 41-bullet fusillade, reports the Daily News.
The shooting of Diallo, who was unarmed, inflamed racial tensions in the city, and led to changes in the Police Department’s vaunted street crime unit.
But with the settlement, the case ended with conciliatory statements from the city, the Diallo family and at least one of the police officers involved in the shooting.
“The mayor, the Police Department and the city deeply regret what occurred and extend their sympathies to the Diallo family,” said Michael Cardozo, corporation counsel for the city.
Mayor Bloomberg offered his personal condolences yesterday, saying, “I’m just glad that we were able to come to a financial settlement with the family.”
The parents, Kadiatou and Saikou Diallo, said they were grateful for the city’s apology and for a settlement that avoided a trial, scheduled to begin March 1.
“We agreed to join hands with the city and accept closure,” said Kadiatou Diallo at the office of her lawyer, Anthony Gair. “What is offered was dignity, and apology is better than anything.”
Diallo was shot in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building on Feb. 4, 1999, by four white cops who fired 41 shots, later saying they mistook the unarmed 22-year-old immigrant’s wallet for a gun. He was hit 19 times and died at the scene.
Diallo’s slaying led the NYPD to greatly curtail the aggressive stop-and-frisk operations of its street crime unit. The officers who shot Diallo later were put on trial in Albany for his death, but a jury acquitted them of all criminal charges.