Wheeler Avenue was the scene of one of the most infamous incidents in the history of the New York Police Department, as Guinea, West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot and killed 2/4/99 by four plainclothes cops who used 41 rounds of ammunition; they believed he had drawn a weapon. The officers were acquitted at trial, which brought on a firestorm of controversy regarding police practices, especially in ‘minority’ neighborhoods; Minneapolis and the rest of the country are undergoing a similar situation with the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Diallo’s family accepted $3M from NYC in a civil settlement.
When I last visited Westchester Avenue at Wheeler Avenue in Soundview in 2011, an Amadou Diallo painted memorial was beginning to fade. In 2017, a new mural by artist Hawa Diallo (no relation) was unveiled here. In addition, in 2003 the Department of Transportation subnamed Wheeler Avenue at Westchester for Amadou Diallo.