NOT IN OUR NAME (local edition)
The city [of New York] says Amadou Diallo "caused or contributed" to his own death by refusing to obey police commands, assuming "a combat position" and brandishing what appeared to be a gun.
In legal papers filed in response to an $81 million negligence suit brought by Diallo's parents, the city maintains there was "a legal basis" for police to use deadly force in the 1999 Bronx shooting of the unarmed African immigrant.
The wording of the document was criticized yesterday by lawyer Anthony Gair, who is representing Diallo's parents.
"This is very offensive to the family," Gair said. "One would think that at this late date [the city] would finally publicly say: 'Yes, we were responsible. Yes, we had inadequately trained officers on the street.'"...
I know this is just the city staking out a contrary position in an adversarial proceeding. I know this is how civil suits work. Still, it's offensive. It opens racial wounds that have been healing.