By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Kenneth Boss, the white police officer on trial for killing Amadou Diallo, will not face federal civil rights charges in the 1997 fatal shooting of another black man in Brooklyn, the Voice has learned. Last week, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch notified Casilda Roper-Simpson, an attorney for the family of Patrick Bailey, that an investigation conducted by her predecessor, Zachary Carter, determined that the shooting was justified.
Roper-Simpson and community activist Charles Barron, an adviser to the Bailey family, will meet with Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanford Cohen on February 11 to ask that prosecutors consider reopening the investigation.
In another development, a magistrate has set March 28 as the date Boss will be deposed in a multi-million-dollar wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Bailey family. It will be the first time that Boss will be compelled to give his version of events that led to the shooting of Bailey, 22, when Boss and other cops responded to a report of a street dispute on Halloween night in Brooklyn in 1997. After the shooting, Boss refused to talk to Internal Affairs investigators or the Brooklyn district attorney, who issued a controversial report last year finding that the shooting had been justified because Bailey was wielding a sawed-off shotgun.
Barron renewed charges that Boss shot Bailey in cold blood and was set free to kill again by D.A. Charles Hynes, who did not present the case to a grand jury. "Had Hynes stopped Kenneth Boss, Amadou Diallo would be alive," Barron insists.
"We have to dispel the big lie that Patrick Bailey had a shotgun pointing at these four white officers," Barron says. "Four witnesses said that after Patrick came out of his house a second time to go to the store, all he had on him was a set of keys. He did not have a shotgun. It's incredible," the activist adds, "that a young black man would point an inoperable, unloaded shotgun at four white cops wielding loaded 9mm guns. He never would have made it from the street to his house."