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Ousmane Zongo (died May 22, 2003) was a Burkinabè arts trader living in New York City. He was shot and killed by New York City Police Department officers while unarmed in a chance run-in with police during a warehouse raid on May 22, 2003.

Police had targeted the Manhattan storage facility while investigating a CD and DVD pirating operation. Zongo repaired art and musical instruments at the same location but was never linked to the pirating scheme. The shooter, officer Bryan Conroy, was disguised as a postal worker. He was guarding a bin of CDs when Zongo appeared to turn on a light. For some reason a chase ensued that ended when Zongo ran into a dead end. Conroy shot Zongo four times, twice in the back. The NYPD later admitted Zongo had nothing to do with counterfeiters. Prosecutors contended that Zongo ran from Conroy because he was frightened and confused when Conroy, who was not in police uniform, drew his weapon.

The case drew parallels to that of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed by New York City Police Department officers in the Bronx in 1999. Al Sharpton led protests against alleged police brutality and racial profiling and was involved in getting Zongo's family from Burkina Faso to attend court proceedings.

Lawsuit

Zongo's family filed a wrongful death suit and were awarded US$3 million. Conroy did not receive any jail time but was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and was given five years probation, automatically losing his job with the NYPD.

Family

Zongo's widow, Salimata Sanfo, and his two children, live in Burkina Faso.

External links

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