DOCUMENT: Crime

A Peddler And A King

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A Peddler And A King

Even before four New York City policemen were indicted for murdering Amadou Diallo in a 41-bullet fusillade, a lawyer for one cop floated a novel defense theory. The unarmed Diallo, a West African immigrant, might have mistaken the plainclothes officers for immigration agents and somehow panicked, the attorney claimed. Pointing to these documents filed in support of Diallo's asylum petition, the lawyer noted that the late street peddler lied to federal officials about the circumstances of his immigration. Diallo claimed to be a native of Mauritania whose family had been brutalized during a 1989 round of ethnic cleansing. In fact, Diallo came from a well-to-do family in Guinea--where he is now buried. (4 pages)

This Sunday, April 4, marks another anniversary of the 1968 murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the hours after the shooting, Robert F.Kennedy, then campaigning for president, and Lyndon B. Johnson issued these statements about the assassination. In breaking the news to a stunned crowd in Indianapolis, RFK said King "dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort." (3 pages)

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