Urban Memorial of Amadou Diallo

Amadou Bailo Diallo was a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant in New York City who was shot and killed on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss. The four officers fired a total of 41 shots. The shooting took place at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York. (source: Wikipedia)

I love this week’s photo challenge! On several occasions I’ve ventured out with my DSLR in an effort to take some really good pictures of my old neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. Street/Urban photography is not as easy as it looks. I often face some internal apprehension when trying to snap away in public, especially when I try to include people in my pictures in a natural setting. It’s a work in progress and I’m slowly building up the courage to do so.

This week’s photo challenge allowed me to go back into my archives and share one of the first urban pictures I’ve taken. This Bronx storefront and entrance was beautifully painted to both represent the events that took place just block away from this location and to also memorialize the young life that was needlessly taken. This was an explosive case in NYC at the time and it had communities all over in an uproar, especially when all four officers were finally acquitted.

It’s not uncommon to see murals painted on walls or candles and flowers left behind to mark the death of someone in inner cities. Wether it’s on the sidewalk, side of a building, or at a park, the inhabitants of urban metropolises find unique and thoughtful ways to commemorate their fallen in their tight-knit community.

I wish I knew the name of the artist (or artists if more than one) to include in this post. This was taken over 10 years ago and I highly doubt this mural is still there. I am glad that I took a picture of it at the time.

Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and a firestorm of controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy. (Source: Wikipedia)

Gone, But Not Forgotten

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