"Untold Stories" by Toni Contini

February 5, 1999

My name is Amadou Diallo.


I had just returned home after getting something to eat.

Four men in plain clothes slowly drove past me.

Parking their car they began to close in.

I was scared.

They claimed they were undercover NYPD.

But where I am from in Liberia… you cannot trust anyone.

I fled up the stairs to my apartment

Wait! Maybe if I show ID they’ll….

The stairwell was suddenly a blaze of lights.

41 shots were fired.

Is it luck I was only struck by 19?


November 25, 2006

My name is Sean Bell


My friends and I were leaving a strip club in the city,

For my bachelor party!

The night before I would marry the love of my life.


Until we were pulled over by officers who had raided the club after threats of a shooting arose.

The officer told us to raise our hands.

“He has a gun” the officer squealed!

In seconds, 50 bullets penetrated the metal walls around us.

What was he talking about?

We were all unarmed… they later found out.


October 2009

My name is Victor Steen


Riding my bike like I always do

An officer began to approach me.

Rolled down his window demanding me to stop.


I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Deciding not to stop I kept riding,

Before I knew his Taser connected with my side

And everything went black.

I began to feel cold, despite the warm blood rapidly pooling around my back.

My body… felt so heavy.

Officer please, get your car off me..



September 14, 2013

My name is Jonathan Ferrell


I offered my co-worker a ride home that night.

After dropping him off I went off the road into a ravine.

Escaping from my car, I ran to go get help

I knocked on the nearest door that I could find.

There was no answer.

Within minutes police cars surrounded the area.

What relief that help had arrived!

Arms raised above my head to signal I was safe

Only it wasn’t my safety they were concerned about.

As I stepped forward their guns lit up the night sky like fireworks on the fourth of July!

I had nothing on me, but was shot 10 times.

Way to ask, before assuming I was trying to rob the house.


Stories such as these constantly fill papers that litter our streets.

How many Darren Wilsons, Rodney Kings, Eric Garners, Trayvon Martins, Oscar Grants, Abner Louimas, and Michael Browns will it take to realize these injustices have been happening for years,

And that the only thing changing are the names!

For those who fail to acknowledge this trend, they are simply hiding behind their own ignorance!


These crimes have become a part of our history.

They seem to show just how ununited these United States are,

So let me go back and rephrase,

What I had meant to say was they have become a part of MY history!

A history… that is only repeating itself.

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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