Matthew Lysiak, New York Daily News, December 6, 2009
An unlikely tourist attraction has joined the ranks of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Ground Zero–the spot where Amadou Diallo was shot to death by cops.
Scores of tour buses stop by 1157 Wheeler Ave. every week, disgorging Europeans who excitedly take pictures against a mural dedicated to Diallo’s memory.
“Amadou Diallo is like the Disneyland of the Bronx,” said Wilson Varges, a tour guide for See Tourists. “It’s so popular no tour would be complete without stopping here.”
Diallo, an African immigrant, died in a hail of 41 police bullets on Feb. 4, 1999, while reaching for his wallet. He was unarmed.
His death unleashed cries of police brutality and racial profiling, and the acquittal of the four NYPD cops who shot him sparked massive protests.
Bruce Springsteen paid tribe to Diallo’s memory in the song “41 Shots.”
Since last year, the spot where he fell dead has been marked by an 18-foot mural dominated by his piercing brown eyes gazing out over the street.
The painting features four cops with guns drawn and wearing white hoods to the left of Diallo, under a skeleton-faced Statue of Liberty. The words “American Dream” tower overhead.
“It’s beautiful,” gushed Estaben Lacusa, 52, of Barcelona. “Those KKK cop hoods are quite a sight.”
“I had to see the place where the cops shot the unarmed Diallo 41 times,” said Rafeal Peces, 38, of Madrid.
[Editor’s Note: See also the related American Renaissance article “Amadou Diallo’s Revenge” here.]