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The House of the Lord Church where Black Political Power was born and nurtured Part One Hundred Twelve

Let Us Remember Amadou Diallo, RaMarley Graham, and others 

 


Amadou Diallo killed by the police 



 


On February 4, 2024 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Amadou Diallo. On Saturday morning February 3rd will be a special remembrance at the National Action Network, Rev. Sharpton will be the keynote speaker 9am-11am. And the evening there will be a special candlelight vigil at 5pm. On Sunday, February 4th I will be the speaker at 415 Atlantic Avenue and my subject will be remembering Amadou and others and where we go from here. Following is a reprint, of an article that I posted and submitted to the press with modifications in 2021. The references made from February 1- 4th remain the same forever: 

  

On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo a 23-year-old African was killed in the vestibule of his home by four police officers. They fired 50 bullets into, what the late famous attorney Johnny Cochran called “a death chamber”, 17 of the bullets ripped through his body.  

 

He was unarmed, a hardworking student with no criminal background. He had just recently told his mother he had saved $9,000 and was eager to continue his studies. The officers were members of a special street unit, their slogan, “We own the night”.They were known for their brutality. The officer’snames were Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss, and Richard Murphy. 

 

Significantly the first few days in February have witnessed some memorable events, all involving black youth who were in some way victimized by a racist society.  

 

 

The Greensboro Four 


 

February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, N.C. four students, Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil sat-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter fueling the Civil Rights Movement. They were jailed for violating the segregated laws of the South (See article in the Daily Challenge – Feb. 4, 2020 and Facebook post at, “Let Us Not Forget the Greensboro Four”). 

 

 

RaMarley Graham 

February 2, 2012, RaMarley Graham, 18 years old was killed, while unarmed, in his grandmother’s house, standing in the bathroom. In 2015, the family won a lawsuit – $3.9 million. 

 

Connie Hawkins – Basketball Great 

February 3, 2020, we honored Connie Hawkins at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was a great basketball player. While he did not experience physical violence or death, he was the victim of another kind of violence. His best playing years were taken from him as he was wrongfully accused of being a part of a point-shaving scandal. In 1961, he had received a scholarship to play for Iowa University, but because of the scandal, the University refused to accept him. The ordeal lasted from 1961-1969 (Approximately 20-28 years old). During that time, he was denied the opportunity to play for college, and the National Basketball Association(NBA). However, he did play for other leagues, and the Harlem Globetrotters. 

He finally entered the N.B.A. at 28 and signed with the Phoenix Suns in 1969. Although he had knee problems, he still had enough skills to make him an All-Star for four seasons straight. And in 1992, he was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Brown said, “The greatest individual basketball player I’ve ever seen.” He won a $1.3 million settlement for the injustice done to him. (See my post honoring Connie Hawkins). The case of Connie Hawkins boasts strikingly similar to the Central Park Five (or the Exonerated Five). Although Connie was not incarcerated, but still, his best playing years were taken from him. He died October 6, 2017. Indeed, there is nothing new under the Sun. Often times, some young people think the issue they’re fighting is new, and their approach is new or different. But racism or injustice or devil has a long history, and have used different methods or strategies or tactics, but it all comes to mean, denial of human dignity and freedom.  

 

Diallo killing triggers wide-spread spread protest 


The killing of Amadou Diallo triggered a wave of protest across the city. Rev. Al Sharpton, the late Rev. Wyatt Walker, former staff of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Assemblyman Charles Barron and I emerged as the major leaders of the protest movement. Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou’s mother, came to New York and immediately aligned herself with Rev. Sharpton. This made him the dominant leader among other leaders who also contributed to the ever-widening protest.  


As Rev. Sharpton and I journeyed back to Brooklyn from Albany, N.Y. where we had spoken at an Anti-Rockefeller Drug Law rally. I suggested to him that the people were ready for daily civil disobedience. He immediately grasped the idea and its potential to have a dramatic impact. We pondered where it should be. First, we thought of the Bronx courthouse where the trial would be held. But we rejected that site. We didn’t want to be accused of trying to influence the Judge or the jury. We believed that the jury would find the killer cops guilty (We didn’t anticipate they would move the trial to Albany).

Then a lightbulb went off in Rev. Al’s head, “OnePolice Plaza,” he said, raising his voice with excitement, “That’s it!” I responded with equal excitement.  

Later, as we discussed the idea with Assemblyman Charles Barron, he agreed it was a great idea. We held strategy sessions at Rev. Sharpton’s home in Brooklyn. There is timing in a movement when some act, which might have been done before with little or moderate reaction, but the timing and other factors converging a particular time, inspire the masses to want to do, or is ready to do almost anything to bring change. That time had come with the killing of Amadou Diallo. 


August 1979, multiple police fired over 24 bullets into a young Latino, Luis Baez in Brooklyn, N.Y. We went to his home, comforted his heartbroken, sobbing mother, then went to the 68th Precinct, the home base of the killer cops. There were massive demonstrations, but no organized civil disobedience. And there was Sean Bell. On November 25, 2006, fifty bullets were fired at him and his friends. He was killed. It was the eve of his wedding day.  


Arrest at the South African embassy 

November 21, 1984, Dr. Marion Frances Berry, who was at the time, Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights, former Congressman Walter Fauntroy, and Randall Robinson, President of TransAfrica were arrested at the South African embassy protesting the oppressive conditions in South Africa. (Dr. Eleanor Homes-Norton, Law Professor, Georgetown Law School was also among the group. But she had gone out to meet the press and was not arrested.) 


There had been protests and civil disobedience before, but this time, it was different. This arrest ignited national civil disobedience that moved across the country like a prairie fire. Participants from every status and station in life went to jail. A Movement was created called the “Free South Africa Movement” (FSAM). The demonstration at the South African embassy lasted over a year, four thousand five hundred were arrested. As Chairman of the National Black United Front, I along with Charles Barron, who was my Chief of Staff at that time, coordinated New York’s civil disobedience. 


Civil disobedience: Amadou Diallo 

In the aftermath of the Diallo killing, I felt the people were ready for civil disobedience, as I had felt in 1986 and other times. Again, from every status and station, eagerly, they came to go to jail. Over one thousand people were arrested. Eventually, the officers were found not guilty. SAME OLD STORY!  




To be continued on Thursday, February 8, 2024.  

Stay tuned for more updates from Herbert Daughtry Global Ministries.  

Don't forget to watch our videos on YouTube and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and events. For more information, please visit our website or call us at 833-236- 7555. Join us for our Lifeline Fellowship every morning from 7am-8am EST, and the Timbuktu Learning Center in the evenings from 7pm-8:30pm EST. To participate, dial 1-716-427- 1168 and enter passcode 604309# when prompted. We look forward to hearing from you

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