Hit by 19 bullets, Amadou Diallo died in the doorway of his apartment building in New York City on Feb. 5, 1999. Diallo was a 22-year-old West African immigrant whose death became a symbol of police brutality. Four plain-clothes police officers approached Diallo at his apartment because they thought he might be the suspect in a rape case. When Diallo reached for his wallet, the officers said they thought he was reaching for a gun and fired 41 shots at the unarmed street peddler. The officers were acquitted of second-degree murder charges.
The morning before his wedding, Sean Bell died in a hail of bullets in Queens, New York. Bell was out with friends for his bachelor party, and police suspected one of them had a gun. Bell and his buddies were driving out of a parking lot, when Detective Gescard F. Isnora reportedly ordered them to stop. Bell instead accelerated and crashed into a police minivan. Isnora thought he saw one of Bell’s friends reach for a gun and the team opened fire, blasting 50 bullets at the car. Bell was killed, while his two friends survived. Isnora and two other detectives were acquitted in a criminal trial in 2008, although Isnora was kicked off the force in March 2012.