Leon Chiles: The Abner Louima assault, the Amadou Diallo murder . . .
Abbie Carmichael: The police in that case were acquitted.
Both of these notorious cases involved African-American men and white NYPD officers. Louima was suspected of punching an officer during a brawl outside a nightclub. He was arrested, beaten, and sodomized with a broomstick while in custody, resulting in severe internal injuries. NYPD officer Justin Volpe was imprisoned for the assault and other officers were disciplined for their involvement. Amadou Diallo was shot dead by the NYPD, who had mistaken him for a wanted rapist and thought he was armed. He turned out to have been reaching for his wallet, not a gun. He was shot at 41 times and 19 shots hit him. A defense witness also refers to Diallo by saying, "41 shots at some poor black guy coming home from work." The officers involved in the shooting were acquitted after a criminal trial.