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Diallo Backers Protest in Philly

March 1, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A crowd of protesters angry with the acquittal of four white New York City police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed black man scuffled with police and blocked rush-hour traffic Tuesday.

The scuffle broke out as police tried to clear a path for the car of Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham. Protesters surrounded her car after she gave them a thumbs-down sign. There were no arrests or reported injuries.

The 75 people who gathered downtown and blocked some streets were marching in support of Amadou Diallo, the West African immigrant who died a year ago in New York when he was struck by 19 bullets in a barrage of 41 police gunshots.

The officers who were acquitted Friday testified they thought Diallo was reaching for a gun when they confronted him in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building. Diallo actually was clutching his wallet.

Meanwhile, Diallo’s parents, their attorneys and the Rev. Al Sharpton plan to meet with Department of Justice officials in Washington on Thursday to discuss possibility of civil rights charges being brought against the officers.

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