Some of you out there may be too young to remember Amadou Diallo, but I’ve been thinking of him a lot. He was a twenty-three-year-old immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed on the steps of his apartment building by four white NYPD officers in February of 1999. They said they thought he was going for a gun, but the object in his hand turned out to be a wallet. They were tried on charges of murder and reckless endangerment and acquitted. I don’t really have a narrative about him, just some thoughts and feelings. I think and feel that what the police did was wrong and should have been punished, and that he should still be alive, as George Floyd should be. But my thoughts and feelings on the matter don’t seem as important as simply bringing him to mind, in case you didn’t know about him or had forgotten.

I hope it doesn’t seem insensitive that I drew him smiling. He is smiling in what seems to be a genuine way in almost all the photos of him I could find online, so it’s easy to imagine him as a cheerful person.