In today’s civilization minorities of all different cultural backgrounds are still being targeted as criminals, and a dominant threat to society because of their race. Which brings me to outline the topic RACIAL PROFILING and how it coincides with the Amadou Diallo case. Then I will proceed onto the Abner Louima case, and give some background information on this topic.
Starting in March 2003 Governor Jim McGreevey signed a bill into law that stated that if a law enforcement officer is found to have committed racial profiling they might face a 5-year imprisonment charge and $15,000 fine. However, this person has to be found committing this act twice for it to considered racially motivated. Also, if there is bodily harm found on the victim the charges to the officers might exceed to 10 years imprisonment.
Racial Profiling as defined by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) is any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity or national origins of an individual rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being, or having been engaged in criminal activity.
Which brings me to the Amadou Diallo case where a 22-year-old West African immigrant was killed by a vague description. This incident takes place when four plain-clothes undercover policemen received information over the radio that they were looking for a rapist in the area. While looking for this rapist they saw Diallo at his house and figured he could have been the rapist and told him to stop moving and put his hands in the air. Diallo then reached for his wallet to show the officers that he was not the rapist but that’s when the tragedy happened. 41 bullets were fired at Diallo but only 19 actually entered his body.
Now this incident is more than likely to happen again, because like usual the police officers found a way to beat the system and they were acquitted of all charges and Diallo’s memory is known as a tragic ERROR!
Abner Louima a Haitian immigrant was arrested at a Haitian nightclub, but on his way to the 70th precinct he was beaten with a radio up side his head, then when he arrived at the precinct officer Justin Volpe said that Louima had punched him and he would take over. Volpe and another officer took Louima into the precinct bathroom and in there pushed a plunger 5 to 6 inches up Louima’s rectum which caused his intestine to rip and other damages to his stomach area. Volpe also stuck the plunger in Louima’s mouth, which damage most of his teeth.
They then placed Louima in a holding cell for three hours while he was bleeding then took him to Coney Island’s hospital where they gave a fake report of what happened. They reported that Louima’s condition was caused by homosexual intercourse. Moreover, Louima told a nurse at the hospital that this wasn’t true and she called Internal Affairs which at first they seemed reluctant to help, but 48 hours later they finally went to investigate the incident.
Volpe later pled guilty and is currently serving a 30-year sentence. The jury also found Officer Charles Schwarz guilty of assisting in the assault and four other officers guilty of lying to authorities about the incident.
Under the terms of the settlement Louima will receive $8.75 million, with $7.125 million being paid by the City of New York and $1.625 million being paid by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA). Louima’s original claim sought $155 million. Louima’s attorney claimed that the city erected “a blue wall of silence and lies to obstruct justice.
In closing, I leave with a quote that Bruce Springsteen sung in one of his songs titled “AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS)”. Promise me if an officer stops you’ll always be polite, never run away and promise mama you’ll keep your hand in sight, you can get killed just for living in your American skin.