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The first 5 people to respond with the correct answers to the following questions will win a genuine African - American wallet - guaranteed not to be mistaken for a gun (guarantee not valid in NYC). Just send your answers to

  • After being beaten, abused with racial epithets and told by Chicago police officers that he would be killed if he did not move, this 15 - year - old's family moved. Later, he returned to the neighborhood for a friend's birthday party. After leaving the party, a police car rammed him as he rode his bike. As he tried to get on his knees, the police shot and killed him. What was the victim's name?

  • Name the Brooklyn 13 - year - old shot & killed by NY police in 1994 and the officer who was not charged. HINT: He was playing with a toy gun when the officer arrived at the scene. The small child dropped the gun and said, "We're only playing...we're only pl..." and was shot in mid-sentence.

  • Three part question: Name the Puerto - Rican man who went to retrieve the football that glanced off an officer's car and was killed by the officer (who used an illegal choke hold). Why was the case against the officer dismissed? How many trials did it take before the officer was convicted.



    The ACLU provides this card, which can be printed and carried with you. It outlines your basic rights as well as what to do if confronted by police on the street, in your car, or in your home. It's also available in Spanish.

    Click here for card



    October 22nd Coalition
    Cop Crimes
    Amnesty Int'l
    Police Complaint Ctr.

    If you would like to help police officers around the country keep themselves from shooting, Hell, almost everyone, you can help by giving them this handy card. It eases the occasional difficulty in determining the difference between a wallet and a gun.

    How to use
    the eyechart
    Click here for Realaudio file.


    Click here for Quicktime file.


    Amadou Diallo.
    In February of 1999, Amadou Diallo, 22, was standing in the vestibule of his apartment complex when he was approached by 4 white plainclothes officers - Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy and Kenneth Boss - from the NYPD's Street Crimes Unit. The officers were looking for a rape suspect and, according to reports in the Village Voice, had already shaken down several Black men in the area. They officers claim that they yelled "freeze!" at Diallo, who didn't respond. As the officers moved in closer, the police say Diallo reached in his pockets ... and that is when they started firing while advancing on Diallo. 41 shots. 19 of those 41 hit Diallo in the spinal cord, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney, intestines, and heart. Diallo was struck 11 times in the legs. Two of the officers emptied their weapons.

    The trial of the four officers who shot Diallo was moved upstate from the Bronx to Albany, due to complaints from the officers that they would not receive a fair trial in NYC. The move was incredibly controversial as Albany has a different ethnic makeup and an almost 100% acquittal rate for police officers.

    The officers were found "not guilty" on all charges.

    Less than one month after their acquittal, Patrick Dorismond was shot and killed outside a nightclub by an undercover NYPD officer. Dorismond, a security guard, was unarmed. The officer approached him, and asked him if he had any drugs. Dorismond, an African - American, took offense, a scuffle broke out, and he was killed. More info: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    In August of 1997, Brooklyn resident Abner Louima was arrested by officers from the 70th precinct after he broke up a fight between two women. Louima claims that the arresting officers, Thomas Bruder & Thomas Wiese, stopped twice on the way to the station to beat him with nightsticks and police radios. Once there, Louima was sodomized with a toilet plunger by officer Justin Volpe, puncturing Louima's colon and bladder, causing severe and permanent intestinal trauma. Volpe then shoved the plunger in Louima's mouth breaking several teeth. Louima was placed back in the holding cell for several hours before his fellow inmates demanded the police call an ambulance. The police who escorted Louima to the hospital claimed to have found him in the street after he had been injured in a gay bar having rough sex.

    Four New York City police officers, including Volpe who is serving 30 years, have been convicted. The commanding and executive officers of the 70th Precinct were reassigned. Another fourteen officers reportedly were placed on modified assignment or suspended. Of the fourteen, eleven had prior unsubstantiated excessive force complaints and five had misconduct complaints that had been ruled inconclusive or resolved through conciliation.
    More info: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


    "The atrocities that were committed by myself and those who stand accused are unforgivable acts. The City of Los Angeles had and has a right, among other things, to a fair and just system of policing. Those rights in so many ways were violated." -- Officer Rafael Perez

    In August of 1998, Officer Rafael Perez was arrested for stealing 8 pounds of cocaine from an evidence room. As part of a plea bargain for a lighter sentence, Perez agreed to tell investigators about the corruption in his department, and specifically within his unit -- a special anti-gang unit called CRASH in L.A.'s Rampart division. The special task force investigating Perez's claims has, at last count, put 70 officers under investigation, released several wrongly-convicted prisoners and overturned 84 convictions. Murder, beatings, drug dealing, witness intimidation, planting of evidence, false arrest and perjury were all common in the California CRASH programs that Perez has called 90% corrupt. Shootings were celebrated and plaques awarded by CRASH officials to officers who had shot and/or killed citizens. CRASH officers often delayed medical help for their victims while they devised a cover story and planted drugs and weapons on them. They also worked with the INS to deport illegal immigrants who had witnessed police brutality so they couldn't testify in court.

    At least 20 LAPD officers have been relieved of duty, quit or were fired in connection with the probe. More info: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


    The original idea for the African-American Wallet Exchange came from the Greenwich Village Gazette.