Old wounds are being reopened for the family of Amadou Diallo today as they learn that Kevin Boss, one of the men involved in the 1999 shooting death of Diallo, is getting a promotion with the NYPD — as well as a raise.
"You have so many police officers out there who deserve to be promoted, and this man is being promoted?" asked a grief stricken Kadiatou Diallo (mother of the victim) to the NY Daily News.
“For doing what? Killing my son? I don’t have any hatred or revenge in my heart, but my life was changed forever that day. This is a stab in the heart.”
Boss, who shot Diallo five times for pulling out his wallet which authorities say they thought was a gun, will be promoted to sergeant on Thursday. Diallo was shot at a total of 41 times by four officers on February 4, 1999, with 19 of the shots ripping into him in the vestibule of his apartment building.
“I think it’s disgraceful and sends the wrong signal at a time when nationwide we are raising the question of police reform,” said Rev. Al Shapton, who served as an adviser to the Diallo family during the controversial case.
"This was one of the most obvious cases of police brutality," he said. Boss was one of the only officers to keep his job following the murder of Diallo.
According to Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Davis, "Officer Boss has passed the Civil Service exam for promotion to sergeant." Davis continued, "He is currently on full-duty status and not subject to any disciplinary or administrative hold."
Boss, who is a marine reservist and did a tour in Iraq, was adamant about not leaving the NYPD when he and the other three officers were acquitted of murdering Diallo.
Officer Sean Carroll retired from the NYPD in 2005, while officers Richard Murphy and Edward McMellon joined the FDNY.
While Boss was unavailable to comment on his recent promotion, his lawyer, Edward Hayes, said, "Anybody who elects to serve as a Marine combat infantryman in Iraq or in the most dangerous unit in the NYPD can talk. Otherwise, people should shut up and sit down," he slammed.
"Members of the NYPD should come out and say something against this,” said Kadiatou Diallo. “If they are brave enough, they will stand up for what’s right.
“This is incredible. No one in New York City would agree with this decision. This will not help relations between law enforcement and the city, Diallo said."
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(Photos from left: Tim Boyle, POOL/Philip Kamrass)