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|05-25-2003, 12:19 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2001
Out of control Stormtroopers ?....
Unarmed Man Killed by Police During Raid
By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - An unarmed African immigrant visiting his rented storage room was shot and killed by a plainclothes police officer who was guarding counterfeit merchandise down the hall, police said Friday.
Ousmane Zango was shot four times after a chase through the hallway of a Chelsea storage facility where he repaired sculptures and drums imported from Africa, police and acquaintances said.
Police officers had just raided two rooms there while investigating a compact disc counterfeiting operation, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Zango was visiting his cramped, improvised studio around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, while down the hall, an officer was guarding the seized CDs. Zango had no connection to the counterfeiting operation and no criminal record.
Kelly said it was unclear why the officer began to chase Zango. According to supervisors, the officer said Zango tried to take his gun and described pushing and shoving between them, Kelly said. The department's internal affairs bureau is investigating.
The shooting brought back memories of the death of African immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was shot and killed by four white officers who said they mistook his wallet for a weapon.
The officers were cleared of murder and other charges in a state criminal trial in 2000, and the case inflamed racial tensions in New York.
Zango, 43, was from the West African nation of Burkina Faso and regularly sent money home to his family, including two daughters, acquaintances said. Zango was 35, they said, and offered different spellings of his name than provided by the police.
Civil rights activist and Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton decried the shooting.
``Something does not smell right about this and something clearly must be dealt with,'' he said. ``It seems that we are beginning to see a pattern of police misconduct again reminiscent of some of the days we thought we put behind us.''
The shooting also comes a week after police mistakenly raided the apartment of a 57-year-old Harlem woman who went into cardiac arrest and died after officers detonated a flash grenade and handcuffed her.
A police informant had wrongly identified Alberta Spruill's apartment as one used by a drug dealer to stash cocaine and heroin.
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