Amadou Bailo Diallo (September 2, 1975 – February 4, 1999) was a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed in New York City on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.
Diallo was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and a firestorm of controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy.Outrage ensued, of course, and many artists spoke out, first against the shooting, then the verdict. Among the most vocal singers who recorded songs in response were Wyclef Jean (Diallo, featuring Youssou N'Dour), Le Tigre (Bang! Bang!) and Bruce Springsteen, who gets the honors this week.
The video was filmed during the E Street Band's 10-night run at Madison Square Garden by filmmaker Jonathan Demme (The Silence Of The Lambs), which also spawned a DVD.
Springsteen's intensity is best appreciated through live performances - you want to see his face struggling, his neck veins nearly exploding, his fist clenched when hearing the songs. You also get a better feel for his backing band, capable both of balls-out rock and incredible subtlety.