American Skin (41 Shots) (2014)

Bruce Springsteen

High Hopes
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Forty-one shots to take down one man?

Springsteen’s stark and haunting song “American Skin (41 Shots)” was inspired by the violent shooting of an unarmed man, Amadou Diallo, on February 4, 1999, by four plain-clothed New York City police officers. In all, the four cops shot 41 rounds, 19 of which hit Diallo.

As it turns, out the cops shot the wrong guy. It was a devastating case of mistaken identity. The four police officers were charged with second-degree murder in the wake of the shooting. All four were ultimately acquitted.

In March of 2004, Diallo’s parents received $3 million settlement with the city.

As we’ve seen in cities across our great nation – like Chicago, Cleveland and Ferguson – guns are dangerous even when they’re in the hands of law enforcement.

Forty-one shots, and we’ll take that ride
Across this bloody river to the other side
Forty-one shots, they cut through the night
You’re kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life