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Police Fired 20 Bullets at Unarmed Man
David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212-260-5000
November 13, 2007, New York, NY – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which brought the historic NYPD racial profiling case Daniels v. City of New York in 1999 in the wake of the Amadou Diallo killing, issued the following statement in response to the murder of 18-year-old Brooklyn resident Khiel Coppin last night:
“The Center for Constitutional Rights is extremely troubled by the murder of yet another unarmed Black man at the hands of the New York Police Department. Yesterday’s killing of 18-year-old Khiel Coppin – who was unarmed and, according to news reports, had his hands up in the air when the police began shooting – must be fully investigated. The police officers involved as well as their superiors, including Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, must be held accountable for his death. There is no rational excuse for shooting 20 times at an unarmed man who has his hands up in the air and then handcuffing him on the ground after he is seriously injured.
There is an epidemic of police brutality in this city—from the unwarranted stop-and-frisks primarily targeting people of color to police killings. The past year alone has seen Sean Bell, Jayson Tirado, and now Khiel Coppin – all unarmed men of color – gunned down by aggressive police officers. Enough is enough: policing that only serves to terrorize and brutalize communities of color must stop.”
In light of recent NYPD racial profiling practices, CCR is in renewed discussions around the settlement of Daniels v. City of New York. Prior to the settlement in Daniels, the Street Crimes Unit responsible for Diallo’s murder was disbanded. The original settlement called on the City to monitor stop-and-frisks and turn over the data to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which the City had been negligent in providing until this past year.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.