Three That Got Away

Andrew Lichtenstein

These are three of the bullet holes pitting the walls of the Bronx vestibule in which Amadou Diallo died last Thursday. The markings BH2, BH3, and BH4 denote where some wayward NYPD 9mm slugs landed. Somehow, 22 of the 41 shots fired at the Guinean immigrant missed their mark, though a quartet of cops aimed into a space not much larger than a telephone booth. Of the 19 bullets that found their mark, half hit Diallo in the legs. Five pierced his torso. One hit him in the right arm. One went through his chest. One entered through his back. Diallo's body, scheduled to be returned to his family in Africa, became a jumble of exit and entry wounds. Along with the pockmarks inside, the sidewalk in front of 1157 Wheeler Avenue also bore testament to the firestorm launched at Diallo. Next to every expended shell casing, crime scene cops placed a small cone-shaped marker. There were so many, in fact, it seemed as if someone had spilled a sleeve of Dixie cups.

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