February 22, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Eight people were arrested in New York on Monday during a protest against police brutality, triggered by the shooting of an unarmed West African immigrant more than two weeks ago.
In the latest in a string of angry protests that have taken place since the February 4 shooting, demonstrators gathered Monday afternoon along Broadway near City Hall in lower Manhattan.
An estimated 400 protesters, organized by "The Citywide Coalition for Justice," an ad hoc group of activists, religious leaders and elected officials, expressed outrage at what they said is a failure by Mayor Rudolph Giulianiand Police Commissioner Howard Safir to address problems of police brutality.
Protesters chanted "No justice, no peace," "Arrest Giuliani" and "Arrest the four cops," referring to the officers who shot 41 bullets at Amadou Diallo as he stood in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building.
Eight were arrested as some demonstrators tried to link arms and lay down across the busy roadway, forcing a halt to the evening rush-hour traffic.
Tensions have run high in the city since the police officers shot and killed 22-year-old Diallo, a Guinean immigrant. Diallo was struck 19 times.
A Bronx grand jury and the Bronx district attorney's office are investigating the shooting. The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI are also involved in the probe.
Several demonstrations protesting the police actions have been staged since, and thousands of people gathered outside Diallo's memorial service ten days ago.
Critics' claims of police brutality have plagued the Giuliani administration, which has knocked the crime rate down to its lowest point in a generation. A Haitian immigrant was allegedly beaten and tortured at a Brooklyn precinct house, and a Bronx man died in an illegal police chokehold.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Bronx grand jury and protesters take up police shooting
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