Not Saying "Illegal Immigrant"
October 22, 2005, 01:09 AM
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NYPD officer Bryan Conroy has been found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the shooting of Ousmane Zongo, an African immigrant. [NY policeman guilty in African immigrant's shooting Reuters, Oct 21, 2005 ]

Ousmane Zongo was an immigrant from Africa who was killed after Conroy shouted "Police, don't move." and Zongo continued to move at him. Zongo spoke "little or no English."

[Defense Lawyer Stuart]London said Zongo's immigrant visa had expired and he may have feared he would be deported.

"Maybe he just panicked," London said.

According to Conroy's testimony at his first trial, Zongo came close to him in a threatening way that caused the officer to think he would grab for the gun. Conroy fired five shots, three hitting Zongo in the upper torso and one in the arm.

Zongo was an illegal twice over, as a visa overstayer, and as someone who was working while on on a tourist visa. But none of the reporters discussing the story can call him an illegal immigrant. Just an "immigrant."

I have no way of knowing if Conroy was negligent or not, of course, all I know is what I read in the papers. And that's not much, in terms of facts.