Students Protest Diallo Verdict

Harrel E. Conner '02 began yesterday with a symbolic gesture.

Clad in black, he wore to breakfast a gold pin, emblazoned with the fraction "3/4." That represented the three fourths of black men who had never faced legal trouble, he said.

Days after a jury acquitted the acquittal of four New York City police officers in the shooting of Amadou Diallo, a West African immigrant, questions and anger about the case reverberate through the halls of Harvard.


For Conner, who helped to organize a forum last night to discuss the case, "no black man is protected from the police."

After reflection, he said, he realized his button conveyed the wrong message.

"I realized that Amadou Diallo was not involved with the law at all, he was a target simply because he was black," Conner said. "I realized that it could have happened to me. The police were probably not even consciously racist, but this incident is indicative of a problem."

Conner joined about thirty other students, most of whom were clad in black, that participated in a Black Men's Forum (BMF) discussion about the case yesterday.

Diallo died instantly in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building, after being shot 19 times by police.

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