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US, NYC Teens Protest Police Brutality

From DAMN <damn@tao.ca>
Date Thu, 9 Mar 2000 05:33:52 -0500


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      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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Three hundred New York City high school students skipped classes Friday to
prove a point by marching over the Brooklyn Bridge to protest police tactics.
  
The students marched in protest of several recent events that have roused
many in the city. On Feb. 25 a jury in Albany found four New York City
police officers innocent of criminal charges in the shooting death of Amadou
Diallo, who died in a 41-bullet barrage in his Bronx vestibule.
 
The protesters who crossed the bridge Friday joined several hundred other
high school students waiting behind police barricades in the street across
from the state court building in Brooklyn.

The rally was held near the federal courthouse, where a jury was
deliberating the fate of three officers who are accused of a cover-up in the
August 1997 police-station torture of Abner Louima.

On Wednesday night, a plainclothes officer shot and killed Bronx resident
Malcolm Ferguson, an unarmed, paroled drug dealer. The shooting took place
just three blocks from Diallo's Soundview home.

Ferguson had participated in a protest of the Diallo verdict and was
detained for resisting arrest shortly after the verdicts were announced in
Albany.
    
Students proud of balanced protest

The students, many of whom were wearing backpacks full of books, chanted "No
Justice, No Peace" as several dozen relaxed police officers stood on the
perimeter in front of the Brooklyn courthouse.

"It's a wallet, not a gun," read one sign, which referred to the claim by
police that Diallo had pulled a wallet out of his pocket that the officers
believed was a gun.

Laila Roman, 17, a Beacon High School student, said that police brutality
was on the minds of many young people.

The rally continued for an hour with students reading poetry, delivering
brief speeches and singing "We Shall Overcome" Approximately 300 students
then marched back across the bridge to City Hall, before holding a teach-in
at City Hall Park.



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