New York police officers face trial in shooting of West African immigrant
Judge rules evidence sufficient to let murder cases proceed
September 30, 1999
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Four New York City police officers accused of gunning down an unarmed West African immigrant in February will have to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.
In a pretrial hearing, state Supreme Court Judge Patricia Williams denied a defense motion to dismiss or reduce second-degree murder charges against the four officers -- Kenneth Boss, Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon and Richard Murphy.
"I found the evidence sufficient to support the charges in the indictment," she said in her ruling.
The officers are accused of murder in connection with the slaying of Amadou Diallo, 22, an immigrant from Guinea. Officers fired 41 bullets at Diallo, hitting him 19 times, in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building. He died at the scene.
The judge also denied a defense motion to move the trial, scheduled to begin in January, out of New York City because of extensive publicity the case has generated. She said defense counsel would have to raise that issue with an appeals court.
Defense attorneys claim that officers believed Diallo was armed at the time of the shooting, even though it was later determined that he did not have a gun. All four have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry prison sentences of 25 years to life.
Hundreds of members of the police union gathered outside the courthouse where the hearing was held Wednesday, showing their support for the four officers.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Fatal shooting by N.Y. police draws protest
New York City Police Department
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