Report: N.Y.C. Cops Face Murder Charges in Death of Immigrant

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NEW YORK: A month after shooting at an unarmed black man 41 times, striking him with 19 bullets, the four white New York police officers who gunned down 22-year-old Amadou Diallo started with a surrender. According to the New York Times, a Bronx grand jury has returned a second-degree murder indictment against each of the officers, a crime defined as intentional killing of a person or a killing resulting from depraved indifference to life. It was the most serious available charge, and one the officers say they don't deserve. But now was not the time for explanations.

With everyone from NAACP head Kweisi Mfume to former New York mayor David Dinkins getting themselves arrested in protest, and New York City residents up in arms over what has come to be viewed as an overzealous and possibly racist NYPD under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, lawyers for the officers feared any defense the officers offered before the grand jury would be drowned out by howls of derision. So the four officers stayed silent and, according to legal experts, thus guaranteed that they would receive the most serious indictments possible. The officers -- who thought Diallo was reaching for a gun, according to their lawyers -- will hold their tongues until the trial. But it's hard to imagine the outrage will have quieted much by then.