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The BBC's Jane Hughes
"The sentiments of the demonstrators here are being echoed across the US"
 real 28k

Richard Quest reports from the South Bronx
"Crowds shouted and chanted against the decision"
 real 28k

Rev Jesse Jackson
"It is a blatant miscarriage of justice"
 real 28k

Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 01:25 GMT
Hundreds rally for Diallo
A man is led away by police on 5th Avenue
A man is led away by police on 5th Avenue
More than 1,000 people have held an angry demonstration in New York's Manhattan district, after the acquittal of four white police officers on charges of shooting dead an unarmed West African man, Amadou Diallo.

The authorities said about 90 people were arrested, most for disorderly conduct or resisting arrest.

As police tried to keep demonstrators on the pavements, some ran through traffic shouting "Murderers!" at the officers.

Protester with placard on 42nd Street
There were angry scenes on 42nd Street
Earlier hundreds attended a rally in the Harlem district, where civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton said that the criminal case against the officers might be over, but the fight for justice would go on.

Reverend Sharpton said that his organisation would press federal charges against the police officers who fired 41 bullets at Mr Diallo.

Earlier, a federal prosecutor, US Attorney for New York Mary Jo White, said that she, along with the Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Department, would review all of the evidence to "determine whether there were any violations of the federal civil rights laws."

Kadiadou Diallo and Rev Al Sharpton
Kadiadou Diallo and Rev Al Sharpton appealed for calm
Calm maintained

Civic leaders have repeatedly appealed for calm after the acquittal.

Fifteen people were arrested on Friday during angry demonstrations in the Bronx district of the city. They were charged with disorderly conduct.

Reverend Sharpton has called for peaceful demonstrations.

"We do not want to tarnish his name with any violence. Let not one brick be thrown, not one bottle be thrown, not one epithet of violence come from us."

Mr Diallo's mother, Kadiadou Diallo, echoed his appeal.

"The killing of Amadou was wrong. I ask for your calm and prayer," she said.

Protesters are planning another rally outside the United Nations building on Sunday.

A unanimous acquittal

A jury reached unanimous "not guilty" verdicts after a month-long trial.

Amadou Diallo: was found to be unarmed after being shot at 41 times
The officers, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, were cleared after the jury accepted their argument that they thought the 22-year-old Guinean was about to pull a gun. The "gun" turned out to be a wallet.

The jury - four black women, one white woman and seven white men - deliberated for more than 20 hours over three days before reaching not guilty verdicts on murder, manslaughter and lesser charges.

Post-mortem examinations supported the prosecutors' contention that several of the 19 bullets which hit Mr Diallo were fired while he was on the ground.

The trial focused attention on the issue of excessive use of force by police against minorities.

The officers, in their evidence to the court, had insisted they believed they were in danger.

They said it was dark; that Mr Diallo ignored orders to halt for questioning and that he remained on his feet throughout the gunfire.

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See also:

26 Feb 00 |  Americas
Profiles: The acquitted officers
23 Feb 99 |  Americas
NYPD under fire over killing
09 Feb 00 |  Americas
Immigrant 'shot on ground'
04 Aug 99 |  Americas
Police lessons for black teenagers
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