February 12, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Thousands turned out at a New York mosque Friday for the funeral of a West African immigrant shot 19 times by police last week as he stood in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir were booed and jeered by the crowd outside as they arrived at the Islamic Center of New York.
"Why do you treat a black man like a dog?" one man shouted at the mayor. Dozens more chanted, "We want justice."
The shooting of Amadou Diallo, a 22-year-old street merchant from Guinea, has sparked heated protests. The unexplained incident is being investigated by a Bronx grand jury, the FBI and the Justice Department.
The four white officers involved, all veterans with at least five years on the force, were in the area looking for a rape suspect. An attorney for the officers said they believed Diallo had a gun, though police found only a beeper and his wallet at the scene.
Police presence was minimal at the funeral, which was attended by former Mayor David Dinkins, who has been seen at the side of Diallo's parents in recent days.
Dinkins praised Diallo, who had no criminal record and aspired to attend college, for "a life well-lived, albeit that he left us too young."
Abdul Majid, 47, who knew Diallo in the neighborhood where they both lived, came to the service with his 2-year-old son, Hasan.
"I believe in a civilized society. When we can treat a human being like this, it's a sad thing," he said.
After the service the body, wrapped in a shroud and borne aloft in a plain pine coffin, was carried from the mosque by scores of chanting Muslim men, many wearing traditional garb.
The crowed chanted "Allah Akbar," or "God is great," as they tried to touch the coffin.
Diallo will be buried in Guinea.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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